My social media wall looks like a wasteland that’s been hit by a nuclear bomb.
What was once a happy space of photos, achievements and triumphs is now littered with political conspiracy theories, posts about Washington DC (about 50 percent of which are from unreliable sources and are not true) and either hatred or praise for the country’s two prominent political parties.
Don’t get me wrong. There is still some of the good stuff.
But now, it’s like weeding through a mattress of barbed wire to find the pile of feathers to fill my pillow.
I am not here to judge you, nor your use of social media.
You’re an American. You’re free to do anything you choose to do. That’s your right, and I am not here to try and take that right away from you.
But what I am here to say is that I follow elections, and I study voting trends.
And the percentage of people bickering and complaining on Facebook compared to the percentage of people who actually vote to try and make a difference on social media do not add up.
And THAT, more than the perceived wrongs in politics, is the problem.
Voter statistics in our country are abysmal, and Louisiana is no exception.
In some major elections, we are lucky to see half of the state’s registered voters cast a ballot. In the election between Governor John Bel Edwards and challenger Eddie Rispone, that was the case when turnout was just 51 percent.
But truthfully, most times, the number is actually far smaller and many times, we have turnout in the 30-40 percent range — especially for local and state elections. That means that if you fill up Tiger Stadium with 100,000 people, sometimes, 65,000 people of those 100,000 will not have let their voice be heard, instead letting the voices of the 35,000 person minority (who actually got off their butts and voted) decide our future.
That’s not acceptable.
Right now is a time unlike any other in the history of our country.
We are more divided than ever in this endless battle between left versus right.
Both sides have a clear, defined way to push our future forward in this pandemic fight and there are clear, specific differences between the sides in terms of the ways that they want to get us out of this rut.
This is not meant to be a Pro-Republican column, nor a Pro-Democrat column. We are not right, nor left.
We are American.
And we are urging the American people and, specifically, our people in Lafourche Parish, to follow these trends and issues and make the decisions that you believe best fit our area in the upcoming election seasons.
It’s one thing to complain and bicker.
Believe me, we see the social media posts and the conspiracy theories. We know you all have opinions.
But an opinion that’s not backed by action at the ballot box is just wasted, hot air.
So either vote … or, frankly, shut up.
We know we’re not speaking to all of you with that message. But we do see the stats and we know that there’s a disconnect. There’s far more people complaining than there are voting, and we’d like to fix that going forward.
It’s too important a time in our country to only have half of the voices being heard.