Mid-term election year.
For the seasoned political wonk this is an exciting year, for the average American citizen, it is just another year.
Truth be told, I think there is a large majority of American citizens, voters, who are so completely burnt out from the 2016 Presidential election, still, that the thought of another election just makes them cringe.
But alas, the way our democratic process works, we are in a mid-term election year.
Typically members of congress have begin their re-election campaigns about 6-9 months into their first year in office. Their terms are short, so to speak, every 2 years they face a re-election. A study that CNN reported in 2013 stated that the average length of service for a member of the United States House of Representatives is 9.1 years. In nearly a decade of service, with 2 year terms, that means that on average they are elected 5 times. Folks like John Dingell Jr. served for 59 years in the House of Representatives before he retired in 2015, at almost 90 years old. His father, served in that seat for 22 years. Yes, a member of the Dingell family held that seat for the Democrats in Michigan for 81 years. 
The Senate carries terms of 6 years so we get a bit of a reprieve from their campaign cycles. The average length of service for a US Senator is 10.2 years. There are men like Patrick Leahy who have served in the Senate since 1975. Robert Byrd served for 51 years before he passed away. It should be noted that both Byrd and Leahy are also Democrats. 
For a politico, the campaign cycle is a continuous motion of switching between candidates, often times states and jumping on board the next train headed for the next election day.
It can be an exciting time.
During my time on political campaigns I had the opportunity to spend time all over the country. I met a ton of people. I made a lot of wonderful friends.
But for many Americans mid-term elections seem like an annoyance. Many Americans choose not to even vote in these election cycles, as their main focus is on Presidential elections. And while I wholeheartedly agree that Presidential elections are very important, I think it’s a tragedy that more Americans are not involved in the mid-term cycles.
The truth of the matter is that the men and women we elect to the House of Representatives and the Senate are the ones who make a lot of very big decisions for our lives. Therefore, we should be invested.
Granted, the Supreme Court makes a lot of judgment calls, and that’s another blog for another day, about having folks like that in such important roles who are handpicked by one person in the office of the President and not elected by the people themselves. But alas, we do have the ability to play a role in electing, or not electing, a large majority of our officials.
When one party takes the majority in Congress we see a swing of agenda to their side, right or left, conservative or liberal. Social issues become hotbed topics when there is a sway in seat counts. Many of you care deeply about preserving life and believe it happens at conception, and yet you are unwilling to be active in a mid-term election that will determine if a pro life or pro choice candidate represents your district or your state. That doesn’t add up to me. Some of you are concerned with maintaining your ability to marry someone of the same sex, yet you don’t get out and vote for the candidate who sides with you and then spend the next few years complaining about the advocate against your rights instead. Some of you think those in higher tax brackets should pay all the taxes and yet you refuse to get out there and knock on doors for the candidate who would fight for that idea.
This makes no sense to me.
If we really want to see change in our country it will take a lot more than hopping on social media to applaud Hollywood for their latest campaign to bring awareness to something.
Natalie Portman appeared disgusted Sunday night at the Golden Globes to be presenting Best Director with Ron Howard because as she put it, they were “all male” nominees. I get it. She wants there to be more female nominees. And sure, that would be fantastic. But until actresses and actors start choosing to work on more female directed films this will not change. There are female directors out there. There are really good female directors in the business. But as Hollywood goes, when Steven Spielberg calls, actors jump.
It’s easy to sit on social media or at a podium and announce your opinions, it’s an entirely different scenario to actually put the rubber to the road.
We are a society of hypocrites. It’s just who we are. It’s our human nature. It happens. It doesn’t make it right. It’s just reality.
Hollywood banishes Harvey Weinstein, yet still sits idly by with folks like Gary Oldham winning Golden Globes with a history of domestic violence.. Twitter blows up over every single word Donald Trump says yet the people behind the handle don’t get out and work for candidates who are running on a different agenda.
As a parent, do you really want your grandchildren to hear about how their grandparents were big wigs on Twitter with a big following? Or do you want them to hear about the activism you carried out on behalf of your beliefs and causes and people you supported?
We are all leaving behind a legacy, whether there is a little one to carry on your family name or not.
So what’s your legacy?
Someone who showed up for the big game, or the Presidential elections, and not the practices, or the mid-terms.
There are a lot of very important issues facing our Congress and if sit on the sidelines again this year, what will become of the things we believe in?
Get plugged in, get involved, let your voice be heard in your actions not just your Tweets.
Here’s a few organizations to check out, also go check out your local organizations:
She Should Run
She Should Run is dedicated to dramatically increasing the number of women in public leadership by eliminating barriers to success.
Run for Something
Run for Something is helping recruit and support under-35 year old progressives running for down-ballot office to build a Democratic bench.
Maverick PAC (MavPAC) provides a platform to engage the next generation of leaders in business and politics.
Republican National Committee
Democratic National Committee
American Possibilities believes that this is a time for big dreams and American possibilities and they are actively working to help elect folks who believe that, and to support groups and causes that embody that spirit.
The Centrist Project
The Centrist Project aims to empower the majority of Americans in the sensible center and elect independent candidates to offices in order to bridge the growing partisan divide in our country.
Get up and do something America!