In spite of any number of reasons that I was considering using as an excuse not to go, I made it to the Koelbel Library event this morning. I'm glad I didn't rationalize my way out of it, for a couple of reasons.
The speakers were interesting, even dynamic. The limited training was useful to a voter as ignorant of the caucus process as I am. And, as usual, the 9/12 and Tea Party people were friendly, involved, and helpful. It was, in all honesty, an enjoyable time and I experienced some renewal of energy and dedication to the cause.
But what really prompted me to write this blog post was the sense of appreciation I gained for how important each one of us is in the current political environment. You, me, everyone even interested in browsing this website, are invaluable assets in getting this country back on track and you should never question your contribution or potential value in shaping even national politics. I must admit that I question my ability to contribute on a routine basis. I watch the media dismiss me as an activist arm of the GOP and question if its worth the time and energy. I consider there are millions of voters and question whether my vote counts for much at all. I see national parties buy the Congressional votes of entire states and wonder how you can possibly compete with that kind of thing. Sometimes, I just feel like its futile.
But, I won't question it anymore. Today, I noticed a common theme in the comments made by elected officials and some long involved candidates; they were impressed by the number of people who had turned out for the meeting. Now, this was not a major political rally with thousands of participants, it was just a good-sized meeting. I did a quick guesstimate of the people seated in the conference room and came up with around a hundred people; not a huge number. But, most of the experienced politicians seemed genuinely impressed with that number. And as each speaker made comment on the turn-out, it suddenly dawned on me that elected representatives COUNT on voter's apathy to get away with all they get away with. THEY are not used to having the electorate speak up, or speak back. And therein lies your importance, our importance. THEY are hearing our voices and THEY realize the importance of it, even if, sometimes, we do not. THEY know what it means when their "apathetic" constituents get involved and act. And THEY are concerned.
It is a long time (politically) until the 2010 elections and a lot could happen. And I know how hard it is to maintain energy and effort when job and family require 25 hours a day of constant attention. But, I also know that we are succeeding, that we will make a difference. How big a difference is the question. The harder we work, the more we sacrifice now for the future's sake, the bigger the difference we will make.
I guess I could have summarized this long post in just a few comments: we ARE making a difference, THEY are concerned about us, and we CAN do much more. We have to keep up the fight, even increase our efforts to maximize on the momentum we have gained. If Brown wins in Massachusetts, it will be a signal that change is, indeed, coming and and it will be an opportunity for Tea Parties everywhere to promote their desired changes with even more impact and effect.
Keep up the fight; this is a political war, not just a battle. Never doubt the importance of your presence or contributions to the cause. We have the chance right now to greatly influence the direction of American politics. Let's make sure we take maximum advantage of the opportunity.