Whose Responsibility Is It?

February 5, 2016:

I find it really interesting to talk with people who aren’t part of the political process. That may be because I spent most of my adult life as one of them. I mean, I always voted, I watched the news on TV, and I even read the local newspaper sometimes. But I never actually went out and campaigned for someone, or joined a political party. Look, I was busy, ok? I always voted – wasn’t that enough?

I just never stopped to think that this whole experiment in democracy (a.k.a. America) is likely to fail if “the people” don’t take an active part in the political process. I’d figured that someone else was taking care of all of that. And of course we hear other excuses as well, such as being fed up with both political parties, or the old standby “they’re all crooks.”

But what are people really complaining about? In the end, I think it boils down to a lack of accountability in our lawmakers and the way we elect them. Think about it. Every time someone complains, are they not saying that they wish someone would fix the problem? Who is accountable when lawmakers fail to do the right thing? Whose responsibility is it to object to gerrymandering our districts to favor one party over another? And there’s way too much money in political campaigns. Who’s to blame for letting that continue? Does anyone really expect the system to self-correct at that level?

Here’s the irony – the only real accountability in democracy lies with the people themselves. The whole “democracy” thing is set up this way. We have the freedom and the right to vote, but we also carry the responsibility for the result. Voting isn’t enough. You don’t like the way things are run? Well, it’s up to you to do something about it. We take responsibility for our own lives, fine. We also have to take responsibility for our own democracy.

Got a complaint? So what are you doing about it?

Jo Holt
Pima County Democratic Party

Give locally and really make a difference!