The inevitable dissipation of all this nonstop political chatter comes with a measure of relief. I am ready to hear about something new, to think about something else, and to move on. As the thrill of the campaign trail fades, I slide back into the routine of my old day-to-day life. There are no more passionate discussions with coworkers, cries of activism, or wrestling over issues. I turn off the news and tune out of the political sphere. I return to my own little world of self-absorption.
This though is not what I want. Sure, I am sick of the arguing and nitpicking, but there were parts of the process worth keeping. I want to remain conscious of national issues and the larger world. I want to remember my connections as an American citizen to other regions and the military as well as the responsibilities that entails. I want to keep thinking about things on a national scale and discussing and exploring these thoughts with my friends and coworkers. I want to keep fighting for the political causes I have argued so passionately about and pressuring politicians to do what is right. I do not want it all to stop now. I do not want to just cast my vote and pass the buck.
I worry that all my talk was just empty words, a fashion of the moment, a set of clothes I wear during election season and then put away. Are the issues real things I care about or simply flashes of intellectual topics for discussion?
Sure, these elected officials are given great responsibility, but so am I. This is still my country, state, and county and what I do still has influence. Though I may not walk through the towering Greek columns of Washington, I am still a player and America is to a degree what I make it and an American defined by how I live. If I tune out and walk away, how can I expect anyone else to do otherwise? If I decide it is a lost cause and do nothing, it will be. If I do not make a difference here, where I am, how can I tell others to on their larger stage? And how much larger is it really? I am here in the action too, here where individuals live, work, play, struggle and triumph. Great drama unfolds around me everyday, whether I choose to play my part or not. Perhaps, in this scene I will. Perhaps, I will remember that I am present and that there are things that need to change and good that needs to be preserved. I will keep thinking, talking, and working for the causes I believe in. I will not fade away. I will finish in action what I started with words.