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Want to see why it matters that you go out and vote in every election? Look at Virginia. Last November, Virginia voters flipped 15 seats in the state House of Delegates from Republican to Democratic seats. Though the Dems do not yet control either chamber in Virginia, legislators there are on the verge of expanding Medicare in the state, thereby affording many low income Virginians expanded access to affordable healthcare. It’s not a done deal yet, but the prospects are better than they have been in many, many years.
I repeat: this is about to happen without a Democratic majority in either chamber.
How? Because the Republican lawmakers who have been dragging their feet in getting affordable healthcare for their constituents have seen that they will be swept away in the upcoming elections if they are not responsive to their voters. And when voters start voting, well, politicians can’t keep acting on behalf of the special interests that bankroll their campaigns. When they know huge numbers of people — people who get sick and who need doctors and hospitals and medicine — come out and vote for their own interests and the interests of their community, the politicians have to respond to those interests.
No, this isn’t a difficult concept. But it seems we Americans have been dulled into a thought process whereby we discount the power of our individual votes. So look at Virginia, and the real impact of the last election — an election in an “off-off” year. The people are speaking. And maybe, just maybe, the leaders are listening.
Go vote, America. It’s the way we take back our government, one election at a time.