SOPA is a flawed bill; that much is undeniable. But where was this up-swell of civic engagement when the American Jobs Act was being debated or the DREAM Act was on the floor? Where was the outcry over the Defense Reauthorization bill? Where is the disgust in the Republican obstructionism? Why is the unemployment rate no more than a number? On all sides of the aisle, there has been plenty to gripe about with a Congress at 9% approval rating. Our country is simultaneously struggling to recover from the Great Recession and fighting a long and bloody war in Afghanistan, and we as Americans only care about civics when YouTube videos of cats playing piano may be a thing of the past?
It is a well known fact that elections aren’t won in November. They’re won now, in the middle of winter, when campaigns indentify voters for the general and compile lists of volunteers. It’s a well known fact that Bush won Florida in 2000 by a mere 537 votes. If you ask the Romney campaign, Iowa was won in his favor by 8 votes. If you ask Santorum, he beat Romney by 34 votes.
The point I’m trying to make is that every vote – and every voice - matters, and it matters every day of the year. Democracy is more than just a fall fashion. You can’t just show up on Election Day, take your free sticker, and forget about politics for four years until they come for your internet. Watch multiple news sources, make an informed opinion, write your representatives in Washington, make a few phone calls, show up to vote, and keep paying attention. I promise you, it has never been more interesting. And I promise you, it has never been more important.
Alexander B. Roberson
Auburn University College Democrats