Do your part and vote

October 2020

Mike Matousek

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To me, politics is the ultimate love-hate relationship. Like many Americans, I’m tired of long campaigns, constant political mailings and advertisements, and seemingly endless gridlock in D.C. Every election year, we’re told how “this election” is the most important election of our lifetime. In reality, most people probably agree that every election is important, regardless of your political affiliation. And even though at times it feels like my vote doesn’t matter, I never miss an opportunity to vote.

That said, there is a lot at stake for small-business truckers in the 2020 elections, and that’s true regardless of which political party has a more successful night on Nov. 3. Perhaps the only consistency among lawmakers in D.C. is their collective pursuit of bad trucking-related legislative proposals. Maybe that’s their way of showing us bipartisanship.

If Republicans win, we’ll potentially spend the next two years fighting against bigger and heavier trucks, younger and less-experienced drivers, and less-equitable ways to fund our transportation network. If Democrats win, we’ll potentially spend the next two years fighting against increases to federal insurance requirements, a speed-limiter mandate, and a side underride guard mandate.

Pick your poison.

This is exactly why we also preach the importance of grassroots advocacy. It’s in our playbook because it works – though admittedly not always. We realize not everyone has the time, interest, or ability to get more involved, but if you do, we would certainly encourage it.

This is probably a good spot to highlight a few OOIDA members that have gone above and beyond, such as Randy Martin from Pennsylvania; Leander Richmond from Michigan; Danny Schnautz from Texas, and many more from all across the country – and Canada – that we simply don’t have space to mention. Randy accommodated Rep. Lloyd Smucker for a ride-along, Leander remains active on towing and broker transparency issues, and Danny developed a relationship with Rep. Brian Babin, which ultimately led to him being our champion in the attempt to repeal the ELD mandate.

Now back to voting. We need to do everything we can to elect people to office who are interested in learning more about trucking. But it doesn’t end there. Once they’re in office, we need to continue to build those relationships and educate them on our issues.

Our government affairs team in D.C. does a phenomenal job representing the interests of small-business truckers, but it’s still very much a team effort. The bigger and better our team gets, the more success we’ll have in D.C. And it all starts with voting into office those with an open mind and a willingness to learn. LL