The person who wishes to impose his or her religious views upon their company votes.
The person who believes the Earth is 6,000 years old votes.
The CEO whose salary is over 300 times that of his or her employees votes.
The person who thinks guns are a God-given right votes.
The person who doesn't believe in equal pay votes.
The person who thinks Sandy Hook was a false flag votes.
The person who thinks there are legitimate forms of rape votes.
The person who thinks all immigrants are drug-carrying mules or gang members votes.
The person who thinks the rich are "job creators" votes.
The person who thinks gays are an abomination votes.
The person who thinks government cannot help its citizens votes.
The person who thinks the United States has always been a Christian nation votes.
The person who thinks people are unemployed because they are lazy votes.
The person who thinks racism is over because we have a Black president votes.
The person who thinks cheating is okay as long as it's the man who does it votes.
The person who thinks labor unions are no longer necessary votes.
The person who thinks the minimum wage is either unnecessary or too high votes.
The person who thinks women who take contraceptives are sluts votes.
The person who thinks student loans should always be this expensive votes.
The person who thinks corporations are people votes.
The person who believes climate change is a hoax votes.
The person who thinks all Muslims are terrorists votes.
The person who thinks dinosaur bones were placed in the soil by Satan votes.
The person who thinks our president was born in Kenya votes.
The person who thinks affirmative action is no longer needed votes.
The person who thinks 47% of the population are moochers votes.
The person who thinks Jesus came to America and spoke to an angel votes.
The person who thinks non-English speakers should leave the country votes.
The person who thinks a woman should be seen and not heard votes.
The person who thinks Black people are all violent criminals votes.
The person who thinks all Latinos are Mexican gang bangers votes.
The person who thinks all Asians should go back to their country votes.
The person who thinks a Sikh is the same as a Muslim votes.
The person who takes his AK-47 into the local Wal-Mart votes.
The person who thinks universal pre-school doesn't matter votes.
The person who thinks all world conflicts should be ended with the bomb votes.
These people are not small in number. They represent roughly 40% of our country. They cannot be reasoned with. They watch Fox News, listen to Limbaugh, love the 2nd Amendment, think big government is bad, and believe the nation was better off back then whenever "then" happened to be. They are our family members, our friends, our neighbors, our co-workers, and other members of our community. They are out there.
And they vote.
They vote in numbers. They vote because they are scared of what the world will look like if they don't. Gay marriages. Universal health care. An educated population. Women in the workforce receiving equal pay for equal work. Strong labor unions. Alternative fuels and sources of energy. An acceptance of new and recent immigrants into our communities. A recognition and respect for all religious beliefs including those that identify as non-religious. Sensible gun control. Financial reform limiting CEO bonuses and cracking down on corporations who exploit tax loopholes and tax shelters for financial gain.
That, for them, is a scary world.
For the rest of us, that is the world we would like to see. Throughout history the political groups who have advanced society through their actions and ideas have won out in the end. It hasn't always been easy. There will always be those who support the status quo because it benefits them. From early Mesopotamian societies, to Chinese dynasties, to the Greeks and Romans, to absolute rulers in Europe, those in power have had it pretty good. It didn't really matter that the vast majority of their empires had people on the brink of starvation, for those in power life was good. Any effort to upend this social balance would be seen as an affront to those in power. People paid with their lives. People still do today.
However, over time those that wanted to hold on to power ultimately lost it. Some held on for longer than others. But in the end, the voice of the people rose up and demanded to be heard. Revolutions happened. New ideas flourished. People realized the status quo didn't work for them so they demanded change. The fought. They bled. They died for their cause. And yet, with each death more and more stepped forward to take their place. Change is a slow, meticulous process. It does not come easy. But in the end, it always comes.
In the year 2014, the progressive movement in America is on the right side of nearly every issue. Gun control, immigration reform, equal pay, women's health, gay marriages, you name the major issue of the day and chances are the majority of Americans are currently siding with the Democratic Party. Their worldview acknowledges the fact that the status quo in America in 2014 might not be good enough for all 310 million of us. They acknowledge our history, where we as a nation have been, and where we as a nation have the potential to go. But they know, as we all do, that do reach our potential certain things must be done.
And those things that have to be done start now. It's not enough to simply get angry at the Supreme Court, or congressional Republicans, or Senate Republicans, or Fox News, or right-wing radio. Your righteous indignation does nothing without action because every single person who was mentioned above is out there and he or she votes like clockwork. The sad truth is, your vote counts just as much as theirs.
So how does the progressive moment in this country move forward? By doing more than voting. By engaging in democracy. You're pissed off about the Hobby Lobby case? Me too. Now let's do something about it. Tell your apolitical friend that her employer can now deny her contraceptives. Tell your atheist friend that the Supreme Court just allowed a corporation's employers to dictate health choices based upon their version of Christianity. Tell your friend who thinks both political parties are the same that every single Conservative government official and talk show host has expressed delight in today's Supreme Court decision.
There are more of us then there are of them. There always will be. History has shown us that. Yet the movement doesn't work unless the people are engaged. If you are reading this today, then you are engaged. You are part of the movement. But reading this alone does nothing for the 2014 midterm election. You are here because you already know what is going on. You know that no matter what level of government (local, state, congressional, judicial) Conservatives reach, they always do whatever is in their power, legally and illegally, to maintain the status quo and that includes voting in droves. When the November elections come around, they will be out and they will vote. When people don't vote, the nation takes a step back like it did today.
It time to step forward in numbers and let Conservatives know their time is done.