Your editorial, “What can we really do?”, disappointed me for its pessimism. While many people who are discouraged by our political process and remain silent in resignation, that reaction is short-sighted and wrong.
It’s short-sighted because fundamental reform takes time. The mass protests of the civil rights movement took time. The march on Washington in 1964, which led to the Civil Rights Act of 1965 occurred because of dedicated action in the 1950s and early 1960s.
Resignation is also wrong. Politicians do pay attention to the public. They paid attention to the Tea Party after the 2010 elections, and they are paying attention to the Hispanics after the 2012 elections. It takes less than five minutes to make yourself heard by calling elected officials or sending them an email.
Money in politics is a problem, but there are ways to fight it. First, especially for local races, tell your friends and neighbors which candidates you support. Word of mouth is the best form of advertising. It’s more effective than a robo-call, and it makes a difference, especially in close races.
Second, encourage people to vote, especially in the primaries where voter participation is low. Arizona law allows Independents to vote in either the Republican or Democratic primary. More should.
Finally, don’t get discouraged. “Save us from weak resignation to the evils we deplore” is a line from one of my favorite hymns. When I’m discouraged, I remember that line and carry on.