Today is Election Day in the United States. It’s not a “big” election like a presidential election year. It’s not even a mid-term election.
Turnout for an “off-year” election is usually much lower. Electing the city council or local judges doesn’t feel as high-stakes as electing a president or congressperson.
Beware that this is an illusion.
In some respects, there’s more at stake in these “little” elections.
First, our day-to-day lives are shaped more by the actions of local politicians than by the president or even congress. Yes, this is a broad generalization. And, if you think it’s not true, look at the Texas anti-abortion law as just one prime example of why local elections matter more.
At the other extreme, when a state like California passes legislation restricting auto emissions, car manufacturers take notice and make changes.
Second, the people who become candidates for higher offices often get their start in local offices. City council members may eventually make a run for mayor. Mayors may run for governor or even president.
New York City’s incumbent public advocate has already formed an exploratory committee to investigate running for governor, even as he runs for reelection to his current post.
Who we elect locally shapes who we see on the ballot in the years ahead.
This is no different from the rest of life.
Our small daily decisions determine the options available to us down the line. The jobs you take, the activities you pursue, the communities you join, and where you choose to live can determine your peer groups, which can profoundly impact your future.
Whether you end the day with a glass of water or a glass of wine or a cigarette can influence your health down the line. Your decision to go for a walk or sit on the couch is a choice that has consequences in the future.
Of course, not every decision warrants brutal analysis. We’d get nothing done if we debated every small choice throughout the day.
That’s why it helps to have guiding principles or rules to streamline the smaller decisions we make. Being intentional about the small choices now gives us better options for the bigger decisions. And it helps make the big decisions easier.
every choice matters
tiny decisions can shape
your future options