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Our Country's Democracy Is Being Threatened - What We Can Do Next Time
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21 Jul 2018 02:17 PM EST

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Washington, D.C. (Image source: Public domain)

               

It doesn't matter what side of the bed you roll out on or what side of the political aisle you sit on, right now you're concerned for the United States. Whether you thought we were in trouble a few years ago and voted thinking your choice would make it better, or whether you thought we were in a good place and voted hoping to keep it that way, you're concerned about where we are right now. 

Regardless of whether there was collusion or not, the Russians infiltrated our election and our democracy. We know that. That's dangerous. It's particularly so because of what they were trying to accomplish. They were looking for discord in our country, to make us less harmonious, and that was accomplished.

 

We didn't even need their help with that with this past election, but their help just made it that much worse. The Russians infiltrated our social media to intentionally pick fights with voters, to disrupt conversations, to make us question our goals and beliefs. 

Russia's other goal was to break up NATO. Without these allies sticking together for one common goal, it would give Russia more power so that they could be the super power they have always wanted to be. They don't want to help the U.S.; they want to destroy the U.S. and all their allies.

 

But how do we fix this? How do we make sure it doesn't happen again? We need to turn this thing around ... and in a hurry. 

The most important thing to do is vote. Many people were left thinking their vote wouldn't matter in 2016, as they didn't like either candidate. So they chose to stay home on Election Day. But if all those people would have voted anyway, they would have made a difference. If they would have come out and voted in the primaries, maybe we wouldn't have had those same two choices.

 

But aside from just voting, people need to be informed voters. There was a lot of mud slung in 2016, and it was hard to know what to believe. Between evidence of sexual abuse and emails and Russian influence, no one knew what to believe, so some chose to believe what they wanted to believe and closed their minds to the other possibilities. 

This goes much further than the presidency, however. We have to also be paying attention to the lawmakers we elect. If we aren't happy with the Russian influence, the people who create laws and put them in place are the ones who can stop it.

 

But all too often they seem to be more concerned with being elected than doing what's right for our country. They make choices to be sure they are reelected instead of making choices with their heads and their hearts. We need more lawmakers who will stand up and vote with their conscience. 

Lastly, we need to listen to everything and not discount anything because it's unpleasant. We were told in 2016 that Vladimir Putin and Russia had their hands in our election system. Many chose to ignore that, and now we're one year into an investigation to prove that, something we were told two years ago.

 

These lawmakers we voted into office have known that as well. This whole time they have known that Russia had their hands in our election system, and they chose to ignore it. But we put them there. We voted for them. It's up to us to either get them out of there or hold them accountable. 

And the scariest part of all is that it's not just the threat of Russia that we're dealing with. We're also debating health care, taxes, immigration, etc. Those lawmakers we voted in will now be voting for their second Supreme Court justice. And the power that could be altered/changed is scary.

 

But that's when we have to realize our vote matters. My vote matters. Your vote matters. Every vote matters. That one vote elects a president, elects a vice president, sets policies for health care, taxes, immigration, etc. That one vote puts two Supreme Court justices in place. That vote matters. 

With the upcoming midterm election, we need to remember, every vote matters.

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