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Get the Government You Want By Getting Involved

Luis Farias

Super Tuesday is upon us.  It’s the big day when various states hold early voting in the Presidential primaries. In 2020 Latinos will be the largest ethnic voting group (32 million strong). We must make every effort to ensure that our votes and voices count.  That means get involved or suffer the consequences.

Earlier this month I attended an American Academy of Arts and Sciences meeting for the Commission on the Practice of Democratic Citizenship. Amanda Gorman kicked off the festivities with the poem, “Believer’s Hymn for the Republic.” It gave me hope for the future of our nation’s democracy. The hyper-polarized political landscape is discouraging. It makes it very difficult to see better days ahead. But we need to look closer and realize we all have more in common than we think. 

I was asked why people do not get involved during a discussion. I mentioned unfamiliarity with a new process; fear that they’ll say or do something wrong; deferring to others who they believe know best; and time constraints. Additionally, for Latinos and other minorities, a lack of participation may stem from negative past experiences with corrupt governments in other countries.

Except that we all want the same things: schools, safe neighborhoods, well paying jobs. No matter our approaches, we can agree that those things do matter and are worthy of pursuit. 

In seeking a better society we need to talk to each other–not past each other. We must do our part to create a freer and more civic-minded society. Yes, this takes work. Work we must all do. If we do not get involved it means we relinquish the right to complain when policies or politicians we dislike pass.

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View full story: ‘Llero



Commission on the Practice of Democratic Citizenship

Danielle Allen, Stephen B. Heintz, and Eric P. Liu