As the year comes to a close, I have been reflecting on not just 2021 but life since March 16, 2020, which is when our little family first entered lockdown for COVID-19. So much in our life has changed. Some for the positive, some for the negative, some that is just the new normal and that is okay. But one thing that surprised me was how much anxiety I continue to have about the state of our democracy in this country.
Now, I know I am a travel blogger. I am no political pit-bull. I'm not trying to polarize anyone here by diving into politics and I hope this will be my only political post. BUT ... I don't care if you are conservative, liberal, Democrat, Republican, black, white, brown, yellow, purple, rainbow, green, any whichever color, race, creed, gender, non-gender, religion, belief system you self-identify as ...
WHATEVERY WHOEVERY YOU ARE .... should be afraid that voting rights for EVERYONE (yes, even white, land-owning men) are being curbed, cut-off, canceled, curtailed, castrated ... however you want to say it. People all over this country (I'm not going to name names) are making it harder for ALL OF US to vote.
And that scares me because over the last year we have seen state government after state government take unilateral action ... often against the express will of their voters ... with no repercussions. The normal repercussion would be getting voted out of office, right? The problem is that along with these unilateral actions have come infringements on voting rights. In some cases, full on illegal actions by counties or states that are currently, painstakingly, working their way through our notoriously slow court system.
While I feel there are MANY political issues that deserve my attention, the ONE that I feel deserves my FULL attention is voting rights. For this reason, I and other members of the Fat Mama Travels team have worked to put together a little spoof on a holiday classic that we like to call "Jingle For Voting Rights."
Now I am no singer, or videographer, this is all for fun and a way to join the protest to let the Senate know we want them to deliver on voting rights legislation before the end of the year! So, don't be too critical, we had a quacking good time making this video (in front of the camera and behind the scenes). A BIG DUCKING THANK YOU to my whole team and family for all your help!
But of course, because I am Fat Mama, and I am "that" mom, I couldn't just make a video. I have also gone ahead and sent every member of the Senate Democratic Caucus, plus Vice President Kamala Harris, a cutting board in the shape of the United Sates engraved with the message "Carve Out A Place For Voting Rights In The Filibuster." Do you think they will get the message? I sure hope they do!
And you know what?
I'm starting to feel better. My anxiety is down. I feel more relaxed. While I know my team's video and the silly cutting boards are only a small gesture, I feel like I am doing SOMETHING. I feel like I am quacking up and making my voice heard on something that is really important to me. And that is helping me feel better.
So, what in the quaking duck does this have to do with travel? Well, I will tell you dear reader.
As a student of history, and someone who enjoys traveling all around this great country of ours I have met all sorts of different people. I think meeting people different from me, with different views, with different backgrounds, with different beliefs, with different ideals, is one of the best things about traveling. I also think those differences are one of the best things about this country.
After all, who ever said we had to agree to want the same things. Who doesn't want free and fair elections? I mean, really, everyone wants their candidate elected freely and fairly. Who doesn't want the right to vote as long as they are over the age of 18? I'm not talking about the rights of others I'm talking about your right, you, right there reading this, you want to vote don't you?
Now I may almost never agree on most things with people in my own family, but that doesn't mean that I wouldn't fight like a mother-clucker to protect their right to express themselves, especially in the voting booth. To me, travel and voting rights go hand in hand because the more I have traveled, the more I have come to understand that we ALL deserve to have our voices heard and our votes counted on election day.