Friday, June 1, 2018

For a Better World, Vote



Today’s The Daily Prism is an editorial opinion. It’s an opine with a singular key word: VOTE.

It’s not an opinion that our planet is challenged by over population, resource-stretched to maintain a burgeoning population, that wildlife struggles to exist as we humans expand into their territories, and that the largest mass on the planet, our oceans — the source of every other breath we take — are undergoing extreme changes that are not sustainable. These are facts, like it or not.

A recent editorial in Washington Monthly applauds citizens who have taken to the streets to demonstrate their support for various causes that are under attack by the current administration in the U.S. The comments that caught our attention, however, is:

As a participant in the September 2014 People’s Climate March—which also promoted “a rapid transition from test-blasting, drilling, and spilling to clean, job-generating renewable energy”—I’ll never forget the joy and spirit of that day…nor will I ever forget the horror I felt less than two months later, as the United States Senate fell into the hands of climate-change deniers. As former Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank suggested in 2015, marching is usually not as impactful as voting.

This is not to diminish the importance of historic marches, whether it was the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in August 1963 or the March for Our Lives in March 2018. However, at the end of the day, electing progressive-minded individuals is the sine qua non of making social change. A march would not have made the Affordable Care Act the law of the land; it took electing a President, a House of Representatives and Senate committed to health care reform in order to bring that landmark legislation to life.

Had climate hawks turned out in force in the 2010 and 2014 midterm elections, we likely would have had a strong federal climate bill by now, and would have made significant progress in breaking our addiction to fossil fuels. A strong federal climate bill would have been far more important than any march.

The Daily Prism aims to remain apolitical and pro-planet. The health of planet Earth is the common connection between all people who walk it. Applause to those who walk for the planet, and a toast to all those committed to take the time and effort to VOTE with mindfulness of the larger picture and the future of our race -- the human race.

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