You might remember the scene in Disney’s “A Bug’s Life,” where the ant hero, Flik, stands up and says to Hopper, the head of the bullying grasshopper gang, “We’re a lot stronger than you say we are … and you know it, don’t you?” A flicker of fear shows in Hopper’s eyes, and a dawning of realization among the thousands of hardworking ants. They all step ominously toward the gang, which flees once and for all.
I thought of this scene after a friend recently told me she hadn’t yet registered to vote in the Nov. 6 midterms. With her busy working mom schedule, politics were the last thing on her mind. Issues like healthcare, public education, climate change, equal pay for equal work, and road improvement are critical to her (and her children’s) quality of life. Yet I suspect she speaks for many of us in saying that she hadn’t had a single spare moment to pause and consider her own power to affect the outcome of those issues.
It’s easy to lose faith in our power when elected leaders prioritize wealth and power over their constituents. But politicians are still our employees and answerable to us. Corporate lobbyists may bring the money, but we bring something even stronger – our vote. Put “vote” on your calendar for Nov. 6 (or request an absentee ballot to vote earlier). If you’re not registered, no problem: you can register at your municipal clerk’s office up until 5 p.m. on Nov. 2, or even at the polls on election day. Just be sure to bring a valid I.D. and proof of your residence address with you. You can verify your polling location right now at www.myvote.wi.gov. You can also use that same website to verify that you are still registered and that your address is up to date and ready to go. On Nov. 6, remember to bring a valid I.D. to the polls. Remind your friends and family how easy and important it is to register and vote – maybe even help them with registering, or offer them a ride to the polls.
We all write our representatives’ paychecks, and we should all be involved in handing over, and taking away, their office keys. If all eligible Wisconsin voters rise up and cast a ballot this midterm, we will bring accountability to our government and put irresponsible leaders on the run. Vote Nov. 6!