I’m midway through an interesting book called If They Only Listened to Us: What Women Voters Want Politicians to Hear.
Melinda Henneberger, a contributing writer at The Huffington Post, traveled around the country interviewing a variety of women to get their input on what’s important to them politically.
For political junkie like me, it’s a great and inspiring read. I often get frustrated, wondering where all the women voters are and why so many of us stay home at election time. Do we care what’s going on in the political world? Or are we simply frustrated that the system just doesn’t work for us?
The question I’d really like to have answered on this topic is, “Why?”
If “they” only listened to us, it would be great. But isn’t the bigger question, “Why don’t they listen to us?”
Those volunteers slaving to make things better in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Women activists who have turned away from their political parties because they feel that no one is listening. Wives and mothers who are tuned into politics, but are increasingly put off by the failure of the system to benefit those who need it the most.
I think the answer is simple — we’re not the ones opening our wallets to the candidates.
If abortion rights or providing relief for those hit by natural disasters were high on the priority list for Halliburton or the big pharmaceutical companies, you can bet there would be a lot more action on Capitol Hill than there is now on those issues.
So, should we open up our wallets for candidates or issues we believe in, regardless of whether we live in a red state or a blue state? Chip in a few dollars for those who share our vision, regardless of what party we’re registered with?
I made a small donation to a Senate candidate this week who isn’t even from my state because he shares a world view that makes my political heart skip a beat. It certainly wasn’t enough to cause a blip on the fundraising radar, but I figure it’s a start.