Tuesday’s election results surprise one staff writer

Elections are an opportunity to affect political leadership

It’s another off-year nail-biter folks. Barnacle for school board, Nekima Levy-Pounds for mayor of Minneapolis, and school bonds by the dozens across the state.

What we want to know is will Tuesday evening’s results show continued and growing momentum for change in Minnesota’s political arena? What will the voter turnout and exit polling tell us?

Most folks are still asking themselves, what does it matter? It matters because these are the races every political action cause or activist should be looking at for winnable battles. In races like these, which draw so few voters, well-organized voter turnout efforts can magnify their impact dramatically, winning credibility and support. They are opportunities waiting to be harvested for budding young activists used to dealing with tight budgets. Cutting risk of failure is what it is all about in business, finance, marketing, college and in politics.

It is also the time when elections here on campus are also taking place. These elections tend to do one of two things: maintain the status-quo or replace someone who is graduating this coming spring. These elections also tend to draw a rather small percent of the student population, yet a large percent of those involved within a given organization. While these elections have little effect on the world, they do create the opportunity to serve and test our abilities to work with others of like mind.

Opportunities for change are so often overlooked by most people as the everyday aspects of life overwhelm them with choices and decisions that must be made now. We keep hoping the world will change itself for the better as we see it steadily worsening. We want someone else to do the heavy lifting, the organizing, the monotonous repetitive efforts that are required of political involvement. It is ever so much easier to watch safely from the couch on that 60-inch screen while munching on your favorite snack and sipping that favorite beverage. That is why it is so encouraging to see these obstacles being overcome by so many energetic people in favor of joining the massive effort for progressive change growing around us.

These are encouraging signs that perhaps America has at least one more voter revolution in its near future. Wednesday morning’s news brings even more hope as large progressive victories are coming to light around the country. We are seeing the effort stay strong—they haven’t killed us off. We are seeing a growing level of commitment by so many new and very welcome bodies. We are seeing so many gain strong belief in themselves and their abilities.

These are all things that will serve the cause to a victorious conclusion in 2018, 2020, and well beyond. These efforts to unite us, leave the petty hate mongers behind and give us victory against injustice, bigotry and intolerance are increasingly possible, even probable. As we prove our power to ourselves, all that we saw as impossible now moves within the realm of possibility, and we defeat a little more of the hopelessness that surrounds us.

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