One of the biggest annoyances I face as a liberal commentator is how difficult it is to get people to care about the things that they need to really care about. Too many issues only become “nationally known” after it’s already too late. And while I don’t begrudge anyone caving in to guilty pleasures, I only ask that those people give as much (and hopefully more) attention to the stories that really matter.
Sure, when the owner of Chick-fil-A comes out against same-sex marriage, liberals and LGBT rights activists all across the country explode in outrage. That’s their right, because his comments were indeed ignorant. But, honestly, does it really matter in the bigger picture what one owner of a fast food restaurant thinks about same-sex marriage? Not really. It’s not as if his comments were going to suddenly change anyone’s mind on the issue.
Or last year when Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson made several asinine comments about homosexuals and African-Americans, the liberal media exploded with disgust over his ridiculous comments. Again, did they really matter in the bigger picture of LGBT rights? No, they didn’t.
Then there’s always the endless stream of idiocy that spews from the mouths of people like Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and most of the conservative media that produces stories that are almost guaranteed to get a lot of attention from readers. But when all is said and done, most of what these bottom-feeders say doesn’t really matter all that much.
Now I’m not saying those aren’t newsworthy stories. The media is right to call out anti-LGBT ignorance. And no matter what you think of all of those clowns in the conservative media I just listed above, there’s no denying that they do have a great deal of influence over conservative voters.
What I’m saying here is that I love that liberals care about all of those stories because we must keep fighting against all that ignorance. But there are other issues, extremely important issues, that devout followers of politics might be very well aware of, but are mostly ignored by the “typical/average” liberal or Democratic voter who tends to follow whatever is “trending” at that particular moment.
And these are issues that we must start making a priority every single day.
1. Net Neutrality: I list this first because to me this is a free speech issue. The internet is the single biggest innovation in human history as it relates to getting information out. Without a free and open internet, every other issue we care about becomes that much harder to fight for because we won’t have this amazing tool at our disposal to fight for our causes.
2. Climate Change: This one worries me the most. Not that I’m an alarmist, but I’ve just seen too many times the human tendency to only care about something when it direct impacts them. And, sadly, by that time it’s usually too late. We can’t wait for our oceans to begin swallowing up coastal cities before we get serious about this issue. But, sadly, I’m afraid that’s what it’s going to take to get millions of people to finally care. And by then, it’ll probably be too late.
3. Voter ID Laws: Sure, come election time these laws are big topics. But once the elections over, suddenly people stop caring. And it’s like I’ve warned before, the laws themselves don’t worry me, it’s the loopholes they open to really choking off voting rights. Now that many states require an ID to vote, you can rest assured that the next move will be closing DMV locations in minority neighborhoods in the name of “budget cuts” and increased fees and hoops to jump through in order to obtain an ID.
4. Gerrymandering: This is another issue that needs to be on the forefront of the news almost every single day. Because of gerrymandering it’s nearly impossible for Democrats to control the House of Representatives. What happened in 2012, where Democrats won the overall popular vote in House races yet still didn’t come close to winning control of the House, should never happen. The House is meant to represent the people directly by district representation. If a political party is losing the popular vote, but keeping or winning power, that proves instantly that there’s something terribly corrupt about how these districts have been drawn. And if liberals ever want to control the House of Representatives again, unethical gerrymandering must be stopped.
5. Health Care: The truth is the Affordable Care Act isn’t the answer. It relies too heavily on the greed of the insurance industry and still leaves far too many Americans without any kind of health insurance. While “Obamacare” is a start, we must keep pushing loudly for true universal health care. No American should suffer in pain or die far too young because they didn’t have access to, or couldn’t afford, health care.
And while I believe these are vital issues that we must be fighting for every single day, I’m almost certain this article will barely get read. And that’s the problem. There’s nothing wrong with reading “news” stories about idiotic comments made by some right-wing buffoon. All I’m asking is that we give these five issues as much, if not more, of our attention. If we don’t start doing that right now, it’s going to be too late to do anything about any of them.