Jen writes about voting...
Here's what I'm thinking- of the last 7 presidencies, 5 have been republican, 2 Clinton. We've had an all Dem congress and an all GOP congress - we've had GOP across the board and evidently in the judicial as well. During Regan and Clinton we did well. During the others, ick. I also believe we need party balance in gov, but we haven't seen that with a GOP president either. They had amazing opportunities and they failed. They can't blame it on the Dems, for the Dems didn't always have a say.
The Markets did not work on their own, for humans need rules. Who was it who said, if men were good we wouldn't need government?
I can see your worry about what gov is taking from you, but even though it doesn't feel that way sometimes, you get a lot for your tax dollars and it's your choice to take advantage of it or not: roads- local and highway, road signs and lights, electricity (they're subsidized), emergency care, police, fire, military, national parks and forests, medicaid, social security, street cleaning, prisons, judges, courts, public record keeping, schools, colleges, fuel prices cheaper than the rest of the world, airports, college degrees, training for those who's parents sucked, teachers, principals, guidance counselors, social services for abused children, etc, etc, etc. It's there if we need it. Do I hate that we subsidize AT&T? yes. Do I hate that we subsidize corn? yes. do I hate that corporations can basically write laws to ensure their control over products and services? YES. But that's an issue related to funding elections and lobying. However, we've both benefited from lobyists, and they've been around since the mid 1800s. If we could solve that one, we'd make a lot of money on our book.
This does not mean we give up. This means we evaluate what's been going on and where we're going. But we have to feel like it's worth it, like something can actually happen. I feel like something may happen that I like. Instead of trying to prevent what I don't want to happen. Ie: obama will revoke international gag rules regarding family planning services funded in part by the US, that means a lot to me.
People are really motivated. Here in NC, we can vote early- over 1/3 of all registered voters have already voted. It's breaking all kinds of records. Folks here are very worried about getting people in and out on election day. I'm having conversations with all kinds of people and the energy is the same- unless they really wish they had a good GOP candidate, which they don't.
Figure out what is important to you, not 'everything' but something, and decide who would further that cause for you. If your concerns are too big, consider what you would like to see set up for Amanda and Jake [our kids] and vote for the one who would further that.
It's still a good country and it's better every year-