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A recent NPR poll sites that 68% of Americans think this country is on the wrong track while only 23% say it’s headed in the right direction. Sixty-eight percent. That’s an awful lot of people unhappy with the way our country is headed. My question is this- if 68% of Americans are upset with the way things are going, why aren’t 68% of Americans doing something about it?

Yes, I know that we can all say, “Hey, I voted in 2006 for a change in Congress. Look what happened!” It is our country-given right to vote, and that is generally one of the best and easiest ways to make your voice heard. But, that takes about 10 minutes out of your day, once a year (if that). What happens the next day when you rip that “I Voted Today” sticker off of your coat?

If you’re upset with the way America is headed, do something about it. Write to those representatives that you helped get into office. Don’t forget- their sole responsibility is to represent the people who voted them in. If they’re not hearing from those people, they’re going to just assume that everything is ok. It takes about 3 minutes to write an email to your congressperson, and quite a few social change websites (HRC, Moveon.org, Amnesty International, etc.) even write the letter for you and just ask you to plug in your address so they know who to send it to. It’s that easy.

OR, make your voice heard in other ways- peaceful protests are always a good way to get public attention about an issue you hold near and dear. Get creative. Check out the Rainforest Action Network at the Chicago Board of Trade. Or these folks from Greenpeace. Now that’s creative, peaceful protest. These people are trying to make changes because they’re part of that huge 68% of Americans who are unhappy.

A poll isn’t going to scare anyone in Washington or (insert your state capital here). Look at how low Bush’s approval rating has been all year, yet he still continues to make decisions that anger the majority of Americans. If you’re part of that 68% of pissed of Americans, then do something about it. Please, stop complaining and saying how much you can’t wait until 2009, because that’s over a year away, and we all know how much things can change in a year. Stop complaining and get active. It’s your right and duty as a pissed off American to do so.

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