Are you still fired you about voting? Recently, while traveling out of town, I was tuning up and down the terrestrial radio dial as I drove down the Interstate. Time after time, I landed on talk shows featuring callers that were simply dismayed at the direction America is heading. They expressed dismay at the political discourse and their feeling that they had little or no choice in candidates or the others issues of day-to-day living.
Like the callers our talk show, “Sunday Morning Live” on KMJQ/Majic 102.1, people expressed frustration that so many important issues are either being glossed over by the “media” or simply ignored by federal, state, and local government – our elected officials. It is clear that a great many people are highly concerned, even angry, but they feel helpless to do anything about it.
Then, I thought about the “Your vote. Your voice” campaign. We have been reminded over-and-over again of a very important point. As Americans, we have a FIRST Amendment RIGHT to speak our minds. It’s not the Fifth Amendment or the Thirteenth Amendment — it’s the FIRST and perhaps most important.
But while speaking our minds is clearly at the foundation of what it means to be Americans, the vast majority of us feel we can’t make a difference. Therefore, we don’t even try. Over and over I hear from people who are fired up about major issues, yet keep their thoughts to themselves. Often they mistakenly feel they’re the only one who feels that way. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
While talking is a good starting point, I believe we have an obligation to get into action if we wish to change anything. Whether it is our personal condition or the condition of our city, state or country. We must answer the call to action. “Express yourself!” Vote! If you voted in the March 1 primary, that is very good. But you must vote again in November. In fact, I believe that if we viewed voting as a way expressing ourselves and holding our elected officials accountable, we would do it religiously. Your vote IS your voice.
I encourage you to vote. But, I also invite you to call in to your community affairs program, “Sunday Morning Live” on “The People’s Station” KMJQ/Majic 102.1. I want you to understand that our purpose is to stem the tide of division and empower those who are willing to get fired up and STAND. Instead of everyone going their own private way, concentrating on being politically correct, we encourage you to enthusiastically share your ideas, passions, and concerns. That is where real solutions come from.
We shouldn’t plug away at our lives, trying to stay afloat, while we trust all of the important issues to “the government”. There are a lot of good people in government, but they don’t have all the good ideas. And government, by its nature, can’t solve problems well without the help of you and the rest of its citizenry.
So speak up! Get fired up! Vote! Call “Sunday Morning Live.” Write a letter to the editor of your favorite newspaper. Put up a website. Tell others what you think. And perhaps, just as important as anything else, call or write your elected officials to let them know you’re alive and well, and maybe a little upset. You will feel better. You will have more impact. And you will be living the life of a truly patriotic American. Remember, doing the least you can do is better than doing nothing.
* J Thomas Smith is host of “Sunday Morning Live” on KMJQ/Majic 102.1 (9-11 am), attorney , author and mental health consultant.