Monday, October 8, 2012

Why You Should Care About November 6, 2012

You wake up in the morning. You yawn and get out of bed. You hop in the shower. 

Guess what? The government affects the water quality of the water you clean yourself with every morning. 

You get out of the shower, get dressed, and pour your favorite cereal into a bowl. 

Guess what? The government makes the rules on the percentage of insects are allowed in your corn-based cereal. Bon appetit. The government also determines whether the corn in your cereal is American-grown or imported from foreign countries. 

Let's say you're in college. You grab your backpack and get in your car. 

Guess what? The government determines which cars are legal and which ones are not. Your car must pass safety and emissions regulations in order for you to drive it.

You run back inside because you realize you forgot your driver's license. 

Guess what? The government is the one that administers your license to you and establishes the requirements for people to drive. 

You go to school. 

Guess what? If your school is public, the government affects what you can and cannot be taught. If your school is private or public, the government affects the way your teachers can treat you. 

You then drive from school to your minimum-wage job. 

Guess what? The government determines minimum wage.

You sulk that you don't have a better job. 

Guess what? The reason you didn't get hired at a better company is because the government mandates that all employers hire a certain number of minorities. 

At the end of your shift, you get your paycheck. As always, you are bitter about the amount of taxes that are taken out of your earnings. 

Guess what? The government determines how many taxes you pay. 

You drive home from work and drive over the speed limit because who can really go 35 mph on a downhill, 4-lane road? 

Guess what? The government determines how fast you are allowed to drive without getting a ticket. The government also is in charge of the police that pull you over when you break traffic laws. 

You get home and eat dinner while you watch your favorite TV show. 

Guess what? The government censors what material can and cannot be broadcasted on television. 

You go on a run outside and come back early because the poor air quality hurt your lungs. 

Guess what? The government controls how much pollution is acceptable. 

You get a call from your mother and you chat for a bit. 

Guess what? The government screens calls and looks for certain buzz words that may make you a terrorist suspect. 

You go hang out with your significant other for a while, and afterwards think about how much you hope they're the one. 

Guess what? It is the government that administers your marriage license. Marriage is a legal acknowledgement of your relationship. 

You go online and check the weather for the weekend. 

Guess what? All weather reports come from government weather forecasts. 

You put on your pajamas and notice that the tag says "Made in China."

Guess what? The government affects which countries we trade with and which products we import and export. 

You climb into bed and go to sleep, blissfully unaware of how much the government affected you today. 

It makes me absolutely sick when I hear people say that "government doesn't affect me" or "politics isn't my thing" or "I don't really care about politics." The fact is the government is intimately involved in almost EVERYTHING you do. In reality, politics is everybody's "thing." You have a chance to choose the kind of life you want on November 6, 2012: the next U.S. presidential election. There are much bigger issues at stake during this election than where your clothes come from. Get out there, get educated, and vote! You have less than a month. 

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