Share your political concerns with friends

Saturday, November 1, 2014

I'm a political junkie. Now, just because I follow the political process perhaps more closely than most, please understand, I remain as perplexed, confused and bewildered as the next guy.

But this much I do know - if you don't exercise your right to vote, you lose your voice to complain when the outcome does not match your opinion.

Gosh, how I wish Missouri was right in the mix of this year's midterm election. It would be fascinating to me to see how Sen. Claire McCaskill would fare in an important election that appears to be trending toward the Republicans.

But the election night spotlight will not shine on Missouri. There are local races for Missouri House seats, for example, that will be interesting to watch.

But given the avalanche of television advertising from surrounding states this year, I suspect we know more about candidates in Illinois than Missouri.

It would be easy to skip this election in Missouri because the focus is obviously on other states. But let me quickly caution against sitting this election out. Four state amendments along with some interesting House races make this election just as important on a local level.

But here's a thought on how perhaps Missouri residents can have a small voice in the national outcome.

Quite frankly, I don't embrace this new and emerging communication technology as well as I should.

But virtually everyone I know has a long list of Facebook friends or email contacts or a host of other means of communication.

And I would assume that some of those contacts live in states that will have a substantial impact on the political landscape come Wednesday morning.

So why don't we use those contacts to share our voice and perhaps - just perhaps - influence someone in an all-important state to get out to vote?

I don't pretend that these contacts will change any outcome. But then again, if every reader had a dozen or so out-of-state friends in those critical states, who knows?

Before technology provided us with these massive groups of contacts, sharing political opinions would have been impossible or at least extremely difficult.

But today - so I am told - a brief message through Facebook or an address list on email, can reach dozens, hundreds or thousands of others who quite possibly share our concerns.

And if those "friends" live in those critical states, maybe your reinforcement of your concerns may help them to cast a ballot that will carry some national weight on election day.

With races in many states far too close to call, a vote here, a vote there could possibly make a difference. And since Missouri voters don't directly have a chance to decide the outcome, we need to use those tools at our disposal to express our concerns to others.

My email contact list is thin by most standards, I will admit. But even in my bare-boned contact list, there are a dozen or so out-of-state residents. Some in fact live in critical states like Kentucky and Kansas.

Yours is surely greater than mine. Which means your potential for influence is worth pursuing.

Just because the focus is elsewhere this election doesn't mean our voices are limited to Missouri.

This opportunity this year may actually have greater weight than the single vote you cast on Tuesday.

It's worth a try.

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