Beyond Election Day

This morning I was watching an interview on CNBC and the person being interviewed was giving his views about the election and who he would prefer to be President of the United States.  During his interview he stated that no matter who was elected, he would do his best to be supportive.

I thought about this and it reminded me of conversations that I often have with folks during election time.  It seems that no matter who is President, whether Republican or Democrat, somebody will have the opinion that the President is some kind of brainless moronic fool.  Well, even as often as I feel the same way, the reality is far from being accurate.

When you think about it, becoming President is pretty impressive. Out of approximately 310 million people living in the United States, only one is elected President.  Pretty amazing feat if you ask me.  My guess is if you have managed to become the President of the United States, you are most likely a pretty bright person.  So, no matter what you may think of who is elected, they were indeed elected and they were smart enough to convince the majority of us to follow their vision. 

Now, I am not suggesting that we blindly follow every concept that our President puts forward.  What I am suggesting is that we have some respect for the office and the person that we elect to that position.  Instead of sitting back and second-guessing whoever is in the office making daily decisions that most of us can barely understand, take some action.  What I am getting at here is two-fold.

Number one.  Vote!  I know silly right?  Well maybe not.  We live in a country where our voices can be heard.  If we are not pleased with our Presidents performance, we have the opportunity to vote him and someday her out of the office.  I know that this seems to be a simple idea, but the problem is a very large portion of those that are eligible to vote, don’t.  

Think about this.  In the 2008 election about 57.5% of those eligible voted and that was the highest voter turn out since 1968!  That leaves about 45.5% of those eligible to vote that simply did not let their voices be heard.  This is a huge problem.  Actually, every election since 1968 has had a voter turn out below 58%.  If you really want change, you need to start by showing up.

We need to get back to being a concerned and engaged population.  In 1840 when William Henry Harrison won over Martin Van Buren, the voter turn out was about 80.2%.  In 1876 when Rutherford B. Hayes won over Samuel J. Tilden, the voter turn out was about 81.8%.  Now that is citizen engagement!

Number two.  You don’t have to wait four years to become engaged in our nations issues.  There are elections of some type at least every two years and in some instances there are ballots presented annually.  If you are not pleased with the progress of an elected official or ballot measure, the ultimate way for your voice to be heard is to actually vote.  Again, I should remind you that you don’t have to wait for an election to become involved with the issues that are important to you.

There are many other ways that you can participate in the direction of our nation, your state and even your city or local community.  There are many organization’s that can provide you with; a unified voice, valuable information on various issues, advocacy programs and the ability to contribute and provide your views on what is important to you.

I am involved with The CEDI Society.  The CEDI Society is a national non-partisan membership organization where citizens, entrepreneurs and businesses are provided with the ability to collaborate in CEDI sponsored economic development initiatives, public service programs and political advocacy platforms that are designed to help create economic growth opportunities in the United States.  The CEDI Society is an organization that allows members to share ideas, create projects, discover resources and help make our nation a better place.  The CEDI Society focuses on Education, Advocacy, Service, Investment and Collaboration.

So, find an organization that can help you contribute or help your voice to be heard.  If you can’t find an organization that fits your needs, start one.  It may be easier than you think.  The bottom line is that our contributions and efforts need to continue beyond Election Day.