Letter to the Editor: Citizens or Ostriches

Many people tune out what they consider to be “politics”. Some feel political activity is a waste of time, some believe all politicians are crooks, and still others have deeply personal reasons for not engaging in public debate. I want to encourage my fellow citizens to take current political realities seriously and thoughtfully.

In some countries a person’s opinions or concerns are not worth a hill of beans. In the United States, our civic voices still have weight. However, a serious effort is being made to undermine our ability to cast our votes.

We all have different opinions about what is best for our communities. Settling those differences is what politics is about. Some folks want lower taxes, some prioritize climate change. Some people desire more funding for public schools and others want less regulation. There are fellow citizens who are concerned about the quality of groundwater and others who can’t get to sleep worrying about racial justice, public safety, or possibly the tangled issues of women’s health and abortions. These issues, and more, are both personal and public. They won’t go away if we stick our heads in the sand. And certainly, our ability to affect the policy choices related to such concerns will be greatly diminished if not eliminated if we lose our right to vote. 

Reducing the number of ballot drop boxes, for example, or making absentee/mail in voting more difficult are actions that reduce citizen input in decisions that affect our daily lives. We must tell our elected representatives to stop attacking voting rights.

We cannot ignore what the Republican Party is trying to do. They are turning our country into a cult of ostriches with our heads in the sand. We must stop pretending that politics don’t matter and speak up or our voices will be forever silenced. When you lose your vote, you lose your voice. To use a sports analogy: When the game is over, the score can’t be changed. It’s over.

If we lose our vote, it’s over.

Mike Brodd

Sister Bay, Wisconsin