We must save our democracy
The mission statement of the 100-year-old non-partisan League of Women Voters (LWV) is “Empowering Voters; Defending Democracy.” At this time, our democracy is at serious risk.
There are several issues causing great concern to ‘we the people’, including women’s reproductive rights, gun violence, climate change, the economy, and democracy itself. Many of us are dismayed, concerned and angered about the actions or inactions of our legislators on both sides of the aisle.
We are drowning in disinformation and misinformation. We are being bombarded with conspiracy theories and baseless claims of fraud. Endless, sometimes absurd, assertions are being made, with no evidence. While you would think that no one would believe something without evidence and/or a valid rationale, we humans suffer from many cognitive biases, one of which is accepting something as true simply because we have heard it over and over.
We, the people, can either sit around and complain about unacceptable situations, or “unmute” ourselves – by voting.
Every citizen has the right – and the duty – to vote. Your vote is your voice. Your vote counts as much as anybody else’s vote.
The Nov. 8 general election is critical for the country and for our state. It has probably never been more important to vote.
If you are a registered voter but have been remiss in voting in recent elections, wake up! If you have never registered to vote, do so now. You can be part of the solution by not only voting yourself, but by also encouraging your family, friends and colleagues to vote.
Be a democracy defender. VOTE.
But vote responsibly, not blindly. Invest the time and effort to do your own research, by studying dependable media sources. (And make careful judgments about which media sources are, in fact, dependable.) Vote with knowledge and reason. Know where each candidate stands on issues of importance to you; don’t necessarily follow what your political party leaders tell you to do. Know who you are voting for, and why.
The League of Women Voters’ Vote411.org, an online source of extensive information about voting, will get you started, and the Bucks County Herald will provide you with a Voter’s Guide in the Oct. 20 edition.
The League also invites candidates to forums which you can attend. Further, as is the case with several media sources, the LWV asks the candidates to answer questions in writing. Consider what it might mean if given candidates neglect or refuse to answer questions of relevance to voters. Why would they withhold their positions from the voters?
Enter the arena. Take action. Here are three suggestions to get you started: (1) Register to vote or to check the validity of your registration, go to Vote411.org. (As part of election security, you must be registered to vote and you must re-register if you have moved or changed your name.) (2) Begin to identify trusted news organizations, such as spotlightpa.org, a source of nonpartisan investigative journalism about Pennsylvania government. (3) Make a list of what is important to you and begin doing research, via trusted sources, to help you decide which candidates will better serve you.
Let’s each do our part to preserve the government “of the people, by the people, for the people.”
Take action soon. This election season is likely to be frenetic and chaotic; the sooner you begin to prepare, the better.
For information about the League of Women Voters, go to lwv.bucks.org
BUCKS COUNTY HERALD: INSERT LWV LOGO HERE
Empowering Voters; Defending Democracy
The League of Women Voters of Bucks County is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to providing voter education and services and advocating for issues. We envision a democracy where every person has the desire, the right, the knowledge and the confidence to participate.