There are a lot of problems in U.S. politics right now. To say the country is divided is an understatement. I’ve lived in a haze of anger and disappointment since the election in November and I’ve made no attempt to hide my opinion of Trump, and honestly anyone who supported or supports him. He is a bad person and a terrible president.
But the thing that makes me most angry right now are statements in the news or on social media telling people like Jimmy Kimmel to stay in his lane, stick to comedy, stay out of politics. Or telling any NFL player kneeling during the national anthem to stick to sports and leave politics to the experts, the professionals.
The United States is a democracy — a system of government BY the people, FOR the people.
We citizens vote for our elected representatives and they in turn are meant to pass laws and govern in such a way as to benefit those citizens.
The power of a democracy lies with the people.
It is, therefore, absolutely crucial that those people be informed, be engaged, and be involved.
If you are a citizen in a democracy, politics ARE YOUR LANE.
To imply otherwise is not only profoundly wrong, it is indicative of a fundamental lack of understanding of the very foundational principles upon which the United States was built.
Jimmy Kimmel, a parent whose child required life-saving heart surgery at birth, is absolutely in his lane when he talks about health care in the U.S.
Colin Kaepernick is absolutely in his lane when he exercises his first amendment rights and protests social injustice.
I am in my lane when I discuss politics and government because I am a citizen of a democracy and it is my JOB to be involved. It is my responsibility.
If you want to live in a free country and elect your own representatives, you must do your part. You must learn about the issues, you must make decisions about them, and then you must use your power — whether that is your power to vote or to protest or to speak out against your government when you disagree with it.
Politics are your business and my business and the business of every other American regardless of their day job.
That we have a voice and a say in our government, that we can protest injustice and speak truth to power, that we can demand change and expect respect as citizens is what defines us as a nation.