A spoonful of civic sense helps Nov. 9 go down


By Meagan O’Rourke,  Co-Editor in Chief

Cartoon by Kaitlyn Chen, Cartoonist

Are you suffering from election season blues (and reds)? Are you tired of the pundits butchering and dissecting each presidential candidate? Are you preparing to cross the Canadian border come the morning of Nov. 9? Well, have no fear! The civics pill is here!

The civics pill is a bureaucratic-acting relaxant that will ease some of those 2016 election nerves. The civics pill targets the checks and balances system, reminding us that even though we are electing one president, we are also electing offices on state and national levels that will have an equal (if not more direct) impact on our daily lives. Despite the inevitable amount of dissatisfaction of half the American public coming on Nov. 9, making an effort to vote for local and state candidates you support is satisfaction guaranteed.*

In our federalist system, power is divided among the local, state and national government to ensure a proper division of responsibilities and to prevent totalitarianism. Therefore, even though the presidential decision significantly matters nationally and globally, our  local, state and national offices have a comforting amount of leverage. Our state representatives decide our road taxes, our public school funding and our consumer laws. From taking a shower in state-managed water to driving to publicly-funded schools under state traffic laws, the decisions made by lesser-known names on the ballot affect us every day.

And if you vote you are also eligible to make an actual decision within your state! Simply make your choice for president and the other offices and find the referenda option on your ballot. YOU can decide whether Pennsylvanian judges should have to retire at age 75 in a direct Pennsylvania referendum!

Election season tension can be painful, but if you take a healthy dose of civics each day** and realize the other positions at stake, you can put away the passport and ditch your Canadian plans. You are more empowered than this Trump vs. Clinton frenzy has you believing.

* Other offices besides the president include: U.S. Senator, U.S. Representative, State Treasurer, State Auditor General, State Senator and State Representative.

**Consult your candidates’ websites before using the civics pill. Do not operate machinery to the polls without a solid knowledge of the issues facing your community. Desired outcomes of state and local elections are not guaranteed but gratification from political participation is 100 percent guaranteed. You must be 18 years of age to vote, but doses of civics may be delivered to any age group willing to be involved in the political process.

Meagon O’Rourke can be reached at [email protected].