It’s Election Day in America. Whether you’re a political junkie who turns up the volume each time a political ad airs and will spend this evening watching returns, or you’re someone who will go to the ballot box and say a little cheer as you drive home because we’ll finally return to “regularly scheduled programming” – your vote matters in this election, especially for agriculture.
While it will be nice to see commercials for cars and trucks, diapers, and dog food again, with control of the Senate up for grabs, I hope voters across the country who may have largely tuned out the political attack ads will turn out to vote. Because on November 5 when the election is over and many have forgotten about campaigns, the real work begins. With Senate up for grabs and with issues that could see floor time including the likes of taxes and trade to immigration, energy, environmental regulation and more, agriculture needs to show up in force at polling places across the country.
But you’re just one vote in one race. One vote doesn’t matter. I’ve heard that a time or two. And it couldn’t be further from the truth.
Take Kansas for example. Considered among the reddest of Red States, Republican Senator Pat Roberts is in a “too close to call” race. Kansas, where agriculture is the largest industry, employer and economic driver, may replace one of the most ag-friendly senators in history (who could very well be the next Senate Agriculture Committee chairman), with a businessman from Kansas City whose ag experience includes a few campaign stops in the last month.
In fact, control of the Senate could be decided in farm country – with some of the closest Senate races in places like Iowa, Georgia, North Carolina and Kansas. One vote doesn’t matter? I’d say every vote counts, especially with regard to agriculture.
While this midterm won’t change control in the White House and won’t be a silver bullet to “fix Washington,” it will set the trajectory for our country for the coming years. In this great nation, we have the opportunity to elect our representatives. That’s a right millions around the world would love to have. Unfortunately, it’s a right many in this country ignore.
Rather than going into detail about all of the policy implications this election holds, I’ll let you read more about that from Steve Dittmer’s latest article “2014 midterms…and then what?”
But now’s the time. Put down your phone, walk away from the computer and go to your polling place. And I don’t care if you’re a Republican, a Democrat, or an Independent, exercise your right. Go vote.