Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Let's Get Out the Vote, Let's Make Our Voice Heard

by Mark Gerardy

A few short weeks go by and then all of a sudden - it is Tuesday, November 2nd! Gosh it seemed like just yesterday it was September - where did October go?

Hmmm, let's see here, today I have to wake up and do the morning routine, go into work, and then afterwards I was planning to... No, wait a minute; I think that is Election Day?

Gosh...voting. I have been there, and before I empowered myself to take control of my own destiny, I followed the same set pattern of complacency and apathy.

The whole mindset works like this:
"Well, you know I only have one vote, and in the masses, my one vote really doesn't count. How can that possibly make a difference? What's in it for me? And why doesn't Obama and the HRC get off their butts and do something for us? They don't deserve my vote. If they are not going to do anything for me, then why should I vote for them?”
However consider:

If you have two choices, one who is a friend that lets you down (i.e., Democrats), versus a sworn-enemy who is intent of making your life as miserable as possible (i.e., many Republicans), then who do you choose? By not participating, then you are allowing others to make their vote count more, that much more for the Republicans.

Voting is not "rewarding" anyone; voting is about making the most pragmatic choice as possible so that there might be a snowball's-chance-in-hell that DADT and DOMA get repealed; ENDA and UAFA passed. If you want to "reward" a candidate, then that is called a financial contribution to their campaign, not a vote.

Fundamentalists have their entire church congregations voting for Republicans, so every one of our votes does count, to go against the tide that can be overcome, like the tide that was overcome in 2008.

The way to add power to your voice and vote is by getting others involved - and collectively our "one" votes become now "many" votes. It is all about inspiration - me inspiring you to inspire more you's to become "us". This is collectivism, forging a united front together. This is about teamwork, and each and every one of you voting – and encouraging your friends and family to vote too. This is about cooperation and working together and making our collective voice heard.

We have already done this and continue to do the same with working with our respective major cities to pass resolutions supporting the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA).

NOW is the time to start getting out into your local GLBT community – through your local GLBT Community Center, through GLBT political or advocacy organizations, through the network of bars and clubs, any place that you can get anyone to lend an ear.

Public policy is passed by votes, and the people casting those votes are voted on by you and I. Public policy is not created by complacency or apathy, it is created by tangible actions. If you can convince three other people to get out and vote, then you have amplified your voting power three-fold.

I strongly encourage all of you to do more than just vote. Use this October to start working with you family, friends, and their friends to collectively work together to make a difference. First, know where to vote. Second, set up rides or shuttle service to the voting polls. Third, get people motivated and work to dispel apathy that is not productive, it is just a twisted way of feeling good. There are other ways of feeling good that are much more effective than sulking about not voting, because Obama’s superman cape fell off and that he had a run in his tights, causing not enough pro-GLBT stuff to get done.

MANY of the mid-term races are VERY CLOSE races. It not out of the question that your efforts, and through your efforts alone, that you might have the potential to get one GLBT-friendly representative or senator in our court, and then cause your state to tip the scales to pass UAFA, or end DADT – which failed by four measly votes.

So get out there this October in preparation for November and do your part to make it happen. Do not let October pass you by.

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