This week, I felt the need to remind my mother of the reality of a political staffer in an election year: many of us may be out of a job in a few months.
There are a fair amount of nervous staffers on the Hill. They are worried not only about their boss's reelection but about whether Democrats will remain in power and how that will impact leadership positions and committee membership.
The elections this fall are undoubtedly important to the lives and policy goals of the staffers and their bosses. But the election will also serve an important gauge of the commonsense of the American people (sorta like how America's commonsense was reflected in the reelection of Bush in 2004). Will we choose to let anger and cynicism dominate – bred by the realities of economic hardship, partisan wrangling, and the campaign of misinformation and fear waged by the Republican Party and its media arm, Fox News? I could devote an entire blog to slamming Fox News and Republicans, but I prefer not to waste my time. I'll also avoid enumerating all the notable things that Democrats and President Obama have done during the past 2 years and why the vision and actions of the Democrat party are better for our nation. There are enough blogs out there who would do a better job than I on both topics.
In the face of the upcoming elections, I am not particularly worried about my career on the Hill. I will be sad to lose my job, and I know that I will have to compete with hundreds of former Democratic staffers for off-Hill jobs. Most likely, I'll just move home and prepare for an early departure to France.
The thing I am anxious about, that truly makes me sad, is the thought that Americans will chose to not vote this November. And worse, will choose to not be informed voters this November (Fox News viewers: Switch over to NewsHour, BBCWorld, MSNBC, or CNN for just 30 minutes each day. You'll get an education; Non-FoxNews Viewers: Check out FoxNews for just 30 minutes each day, and I promise that you'll be motivated to get politically involved or at least motivated to stay aware of current events and policies).
So much is at stake this year. And not to sound cliché, but I will say it anyway, the future of America depends on having thoughtful voters who elect selfless leaders into office, leaders who are not focused on scoring political points, but instead honestly want to improve America for the benefit of all Americans.