Steve Martaindale

Author of the JP Weiscarver Mystery Series

86. Limits

Checklist

It is 86 days until the next U.S. congressional midterm election.

What will it take for you to become politically active, or just register and vote?

It’s a rhetorical question, but the answer for many teen-age voters is crystal clear: “A string of school shootings.”

It has become cliché since the 1999 Columbine school shooting for all of us – most prominently political figures – to promise we’ll do something to make sure such a tragedy does not happen again. Of course, we know nothing has really happened, as illustrated by a frequency of shootings at schools, churches, theaters, etc., that prevents us from even remembering them all.

Something different came out of the shooting deaths of 17 students and school staff members last Valentine’s Day in Parkland, Fla. Students from that school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, have risen and proclaimed they will do something.

They grabbed ahold of the podium provided by their heartbreak and have parlayed it into a national force. Their objective is to press for gun laws that make us safer. They are astute enough to realize, in the current political configuration, such laws are not going to happen.

So, they have set out to help change the poisonous situation that so closely affected their lives and they’re doing it by encouraging young people to vote.

Their degree of success is up to much speculation, partly because citizens in their teens and 20s are notoriously bad about voting, but these kids – such as Emma González, David Hogg and Cameron Kasky – are doing something.

What about you? Would it take losing Medicare, having health insurance priced out of reach because of a pre-existing condition, or watching your savings disappear as you try to stay healthy? Would it take having someone close to you deported because his immigration papers from 40 years ago were flawed? Would it take a niece dying during an alley abortion because safe abortions had been outlawed? Would it be your brother buying legal marijuana in Colorado, getting busted for possession under federal law and sent to prison for 10 years? Would it be our country’s leaders orchestrating another war to appease the military-industrial complex that has them in its pocket?

Make sure you’re registered, stop the madness, vote Democrat in November.

And tell a friend.

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