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Politics is life, and it’s time to start living

By |2012-04-08T09:00:00-04:00April 8th, 2012|Uncategorized|

Anyone who has ever said, “I don’t pay attention to politics” is actually saying, “I don’t pay attention to life.”
Think about it: there isn’t a segment of your life that isn’t in some way impacted by politics whether it’s at the local, state, or federal level.
Take brushing your teeth, for example. The purity of the water you use is related to how strong environmental protections are, which is directly related to whether or not those in office representing you are more interested in protecting public health or corporations that pollute. Same goes for the safety of the toothpaste and toothbrush you use. Do the people representing you care about consumer protections? Then there’s your teeth. Can you afford insurance that includes dental coverage? Is the skyrocketing cost of health care a priority for the people you elected to represent you?
Clean water, safe consumer products, and affordable health care would seem to be universal priorities. This, of course, doesn’t mean that they’re priorities for the politicians in office. In fact, many of them are much more concerned that you might get married to a person of the same sex than the level of mercury in your water or your inability to afford dental care.
And that’s why voting them out of office and supporting candidates who actually care about people is so essential.
Your voter ID card is a ticket to a voice. If you don’t vote, you don’t matter. Sound harsh? It is. People who don’t vote don’t get their issues taken seriously. They have no voice.
In this issue we have several stories related to voting, including the results of the primary races. The good news: almost all of the candidates who ran nasty anti-gay campaigns lost. The bad news: voter turnout was abysmally low, which means a very small number of people decided who will be on the ticket in Nov.
But even if you skipped the primary, skipping November’s election is not an option. We’ve got the marriage amendment on the ballot, not to mention a chance to get rid of the country’s most anti-gay president ever. It’s anything but boring.
Detroit rocker Barbara Payton is one of many artists using their microphones to do more than entertain. Join her on Aug. 20 to get rocked and registered. You have until Oct. 3 to make sure your voice is heard in Nov.
LGBT issues have been steadily gaining significance to elected officials because LGBT people are being recognized as an important constituency. Politicians are taking our vote seriously and although things aren’t perfect, some are even reaching out to our community and are not afraid to support our causes publicly.
It is entirely up to us whether or not those politicians who support us actually get elected. Not voting is not an option if we ever want to live in a country that allows all of its citizens to have equal rights. Marriage, employment and housing discrimination, hate crime legislation – all of it is contingent on getting progressive candidates into office.
Think of it as a whiter, brighter smile for democracy.

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.