In the past two years, I’m proud to have participated in a political march, participated in Get Out The Vote efforts, actually donated to multiple candidates, and now will be serving as a Poll Worker for Fulton County, Georgia.
All four were new experiences for me, but I highly recommend each one for anyone in the world, no matter where you live. Government & democracy are much more tangible and understandable when you meet the real people participating instead of watching it on the news or reading about it on social media posts. I went to my first city council meeting when I was 18 and have never regretted getting more involved in the actual political process.
Even if it’s simply attending an in-person City Hall meeting, participation is better than watching. Plus, participation makes you a better watcher.
I don’t have a lot to add to what has already been said about the 2020 US Election.
But I do want to record for my future self exactly what this election feels like and why I voted the way I did.
First – “Why It Has To Be Biden” by The Economist is the exact article that I wish I could have written for this election. I agree with the content, structure, tone, emphasis, and conclusion. It neatly summarizes exactly how I personally voted and what I saw in this election.
Second – “Dear Dad, Please Don’t Vote For Donald Trump This Time” by Ryan Holiday sums up the driving reason why I decided to march, write, donate, and volunteer this election cycle rather than in any previous election. My son is at an age where he’s keenly observing adult behavior. Whatever the results of this election are, people are going to remember it. I want to have done something, even it’s pretty small in the grand scheme of things.
Third – “I’m a pro-life Christian. Here’s why I’m voting for Hillary Clinton.” by Rachel Held Evans describes, yet again, the tensions that I see in American Christianity among my closest friends, family, and country. White Christians are at the center of this election. This article was written in 2016, but holds even more true during COVID-19, given the contrast between asserted Christian ideals and the Republican Senate & Administration’s response.
However, the biggest takeaway from the 2020 US Election, after having lived through Obama’s 2008 election, the Tea Party election in 2010, and the 2016 election, is that physical participation matters. TV and online media are fine. But the strong ties developed by in-person participation matters more both in the US and around the world. Go vote, but also go volunteer!