Update: I’ve reworked this post to be a letter to the editor of the Oklahoman. I tried to shorten it, but after much editing, cutting and added, it ended up exactly the same number of words. But it was a lot better. I’ll post the new version in a few days. I don’t want to jeopardize getting it published in case they Google and find it here. (Though of course, the chances of them using it are negligible.)
On Nov. 4, Oklahomans have a serious question to ask themselves before voting: Do they want to be stuck with two Senators and all but one of their Representatives in the minority party for the foreseeable future, or do they want to be seriously involved in governing this country, solving our collective problems and moving into the future?
Because, unless something unexpected happens before, or something illegal happens on Election Day, the Democratic Party is going to control both houses of Congress — probably by a considerable margin — as well as the White House, come January 20, 2009.
Members of the minority party, meanwhile, simply will be keeping their seats warm, having have no real power.
If Andrew Rice, the Democrat who is challenging Republican Senator Jim Inhofe, is elected, he will be part of that national majority, and able to represent Oklahoma’s interests in Washington during the next six years, which I happen to think he will do very well. But even if you disagree with him on many issues, at least you will be able to contact a member of the ruling party to influence legislation. The other option is to send Inhofe back, where he will continue to suffer the precipitous decline of his status and influence to shape anything other than the cushion of his chair. In the latter outcome, Oklahoma will have no serious voice in the world-changing debate and decisions that are looming before us — in security, the environment, energy, the economy, et. al.
It’s really that simple.
I hope Oklahomans will think about whether they want to have any participation or power in making the changes that are coming. This election could be their one chance for that to happen.
The Oklahoma deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 4 election is Oct. 10. Check here for how to register, or to confirm your registration.