Wednesday, November 3, 2010

No winners

I keep waiting to hear, "WINNER WINNER, CHICKEN DINNER!". In Georgia, for this girl, it's not happening.

I think for almost every vote I cast on Tuesday, the opposite person won. With the exception of a few amendments that I DID agree with the majority on, everything else went the opposite way. I feel like my voice may never be heard in this state.

It's weird to have been so aligned with my friends and neighbors, first in Brown County in SD, then later in Minnesota (sorry Rapid Citians, Pennington County and I also did not agree), and now to be so misaligned with the leaders of my city, county, and state.

I think at its core, and what I did not fully realize until now, is that I have a fundamental worldview difference from others around me. I think that the government should provide a social safety net to the poorest and most disadvantaged citizens. Others do not.

I was shocked - shocked, I tell you - that Amendment 2 did not pass. It called for a $10 annual registration fee on all regular vehicles, to provide funding to the state's trauma care centers. In 2007, a state legislative committee declared the trauma centers to be in crisis, and that many rural areas are without this service. In 2009, the state Senate passed legislation to provide funding, but it failed in the House. This fee would have bypassed those needs and provided much-needed funding.

My shock was that Georgians would not pay $10 PER YEAR (which is like, a meal for 2 at McDonald's) to ensure that if they get in a wreck in the southern part of the state, they won't have to travel 120 minutes - 60 more minutes than the critical time frame - to get to a trauma center.

The arguments I have heard around the office against the amendment are "balance the budget and find the funding", "go through elected officials", "this should be privatized anyway", and "I live right in the city, I don't need it" could be valid in their eyes - but I just don't agree.

All I can say is people better hope they never drive to Florida and on the way get sideswiped.

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