When You Don’t Feel Like you Have a Voice

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In the wake of this election, I’m trying to figure out what to do next without falling into despair. And it is extremely difficult. Because it all comes back to the fact that I don’t feel like I have a voice in my government.

The presidential candidate I supported won the popular vote by a significant margin. However, she didn’t win the Electoral College vote, so even though more people voted for her, she won’t be president. Worse, my vote for her does not even count because I am a blue dot in a red county in a red state. I am effectively disenfranchised because of where I live. Still I vote. Still it makes no difference.

And yes, I do vote in local elections. And it doesn’t matter. For a few shining years I had the honor of having Wendy Davis represent me, but that is no longer that case. Right now, NONE of my elected representatives were people I voted for and I don’t feel as though any have my interests at heart.

I used to be one of those people who wrote my representatives. Yet after doing this for years and getting replies from them that basically went along the lines of, “thank you for contacting me, I don’t agree with you and won’t do what you want, good bye.” It just seemed futile. Protesting is about as effective as letter writing.

So while I try to decide if I want to address climate change, the biggest threat facing humanity, or making sure everyone who wants it has access to birth control, or doing something to combat racism, I can’t stop the thoughts that my voice doesn’t matter, my representatives doesn’t care about me, and the system was designed to ignore and discount my vote.

I’m trying to figure out something I can do so I can feel as though I have a voice. But the learned helplessness is rather overpowering right now. Aside from moving to a swing state I’m at a loss as to where to go from here.

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