I’m loving all the peaceful protests that are happening right now. Last week, I photographed the local Women’s March in Ventura, California where hundreds of people flooded the downtown streets after the Presidential inauguration.
The country is getting a much needed civics lesson. I think people are finally realizing that we must remain active participants in this democracy or else we risk waking up one day without it. In a sense, it is our civic duty to remain in a state of perpetual protest.
This doesn’t mean we have to rally and march all the time. It means that we need to stay tuned in, make our opinions heard, and hold our elected officials accountable for their decisions. Elected officials are essentially our employees, and like all employees, they require constant feedback and management. Yes, this takes time away from other things in our busy lives, but if we don’t do it, bad things will undoubtably happen when we are not looking. Right now lots of us are looking. I truly hope it remains that way.
Speaking of elected officials, it’s time we learn from our recent history and push hard to reform the root issues that contributed to this mess of a Presidential election in the first place.
Specifically, I want to see real voting reform.
We can’t elect great leaders if they aren’t on the ballot. Such is why we’re often stuck casting votes for a candidate that feels like the “lesser of two evils”. Our defacto two party system actually prevents great leaders from running for office. Sometimes this is because they can’t identify with either party’s platform. Other times, great candidates simply can’t get on the ballot when the time comes (think Bernie Sanders).
Maybe it’s time for a new political party? Yes, I certainly think so… but this route is not easy thanks to the byzantine barriers enacted by election laws in each state – passed by, you guessed it… Democrats and Republicans.
We need to make it easy for great leaders to run for office and get elected. Right now the system is full of friction. Only our active engagement and non-stop peaceful demand of change is going to fix it.