From the Dean’s Desk,
Every election is consequential. Every vote matters. In less than 3 weeks, we will know the path our fellow citizens have chosen to follow on the selection of individuals and political parties through their individual vote. In a democracy it is the ordinary citizen, like you and me, who have the power to shape the future.
While the cacophony of political “noise” might come across as a badly mixed soundtrack on all of our channels, we find ourselves in a quandary on who to support with our most precious instrument of power, our vote.
I write in earnest for us all to step back. Step back to a quiet space to discern among our choice of leaders. Who are most worthy of your vote for the privilege to lead? At this inflection moment in our Nation’s collective conscience on issues of race justice, health care, equality for all, and so many more challenges faced by the common person, who is a leader?
Over many election cycles, we have moved to making decisions on a very small list of issues that we think affect us directly in our day to day life. Typically folded under the umbrella called “single Issue voter” (good paying job; sanctity of life; violence; school choice; Supreme Court Justice etc), we have become myopic in our understanding of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” as the constitution provides. To fulfill our role in this complex, confusing, and confounding experiment called “democracy”, we need to step up and do more than deciding who to select to lead based on just “me”.
We are a collective. We thrive in our symbiotic transactions we undertake with our families, our friends, our co-workers, our neighbors…and yes, even strangers. We are better people when we care about all people. Especially, we are obligated to use our power and privilege to make sure those without are protected and supported. That care we can provide to the poor, the voiceless, and the disenfranchised is what will strengthen us all to meet any challenge before us. And that starts with our vote.
As social work professionals, it is in our ethos to be an educated voter for the greater good of all peoples. Some who are in our lives today, many who we may never meet in our lifetime. Yet, they all deserve a fair and equitable pathway to a greater good. That rests in your hands with your vote.
Be an informed voter on the myriad issues that face our society today. Discern your choice of a leader wisely by being literate on the nuances of hegemonic power. It is your obligation to do right. Vote.
Goutham M. Menon, Phd., MA., MBA.
Dean & Professor
Note: For a non-partisan review of key issues by political entities, go to: 2020election.procon.org