This is hard, this whole “democracy” business. That is, if you even believe we still have one, which scholars now kinda don’t. Sigh.
If you want to really do your part as a good citizen of the U.S. of A., all you have to do is this:
- Stay educated despite a media that has shifted from informing the populace to entertaining them or engaging in blatant partisan propaganda
- Actually vote which the GOP is actively trying to make it harder to do, like, everywhere
- Overcome apathy derived from both a system that never truly changes and from politicians who care only for their pocketbooks and profiles
There’s more stuff too, but I don’t need to get too depressed too fast this week; I need to pace myself!
I have a handful of super political, heavily invested friends who live and die by these elections (some literally making their living that way). But by and large, everyone from my Dad to my high-school buddies kind of shrug at me and say “It’s not worth getting that worked up about.” I respect that. I do. It’s honestly, probably the most realistic view, understanding that we have likely left the era of the game-changing singular politician or movement.
But I’m still here fighting, still caring, still planning on refreshing the voter results tomorrow night until the wee hours of the morn. Because I believe it IS worth getting worked up about. I believe it’s one of the ONLY things worth getting worked up about. And if you give me just a few minutes, I think I can tell you why.
Your life depends on this…literally
Are you a living human being? GOP congresspeople who have superb, sterling health insurance are going to go try to take yours away.
Are you a woman? The GOP could give two shits about your medical need for birth control or your access to safe abortion procedures.
Are you black? Look at what the elected officials in Missouri are doing, hemming and hawing and protecting the murderer of a teenage boy.
Are you Hispanic? From immigration to education, the GOP treats you like criminals, reducing people to an action (“illegals”).
And then there are the gun issues, the stem cell research issues, and on and on and on. This is life and death shit here. This isn’t a fancy title for some would-be politico. This is how the wealthy and powerful sit in rooms and decide which of us live and live well and which of us die poorly.
They want you to give up
That’s how power works. Those who have the money, who have the prestige, who sit atop the social food chain want you to surrender so bad. It’s all they want.
So they’ll lie. They’ll smear a good person’s name.
So they’ll cheat. They’ll redraw districts in an attempt to make your vote matter less.
So they’ll make deals with devils. Like a gubernatorial candidate who is riding a racist’s money in these final days.
They want to break you down and convince you it’s best to just let them have what they want. And it’s so much easier to convince someone NOT to do something, isn’t it? The burden is so much higher on those asking you to do something to fix this.
They are not doing their job
The GOP-led House has made this the least productive congress EVER.
The GOP minority in the Senate have filibustered that institution into uselessness.
Then, for good measure, the GOP shut the whole f**king thing down.
And we will reward them for doing this.
We will reward them for this. We will give them the majority in the Senate. We will do this because we are programmed to fight our own best interests, to believe that the devils we know represent a better choice than new voices.
I don’t know how to say these things, how to type them here, and not be furious at our inability to stand up for ourselves.
Your lives will be different after Tuesday
That pothole that just effed your shocks? A politician decided when and how that road would or wouldn’t be repaired. The library that just closed? Somebody elected made that call. The new partnership that the city is contemplating with that local business you want to apply for? You’d better hope the right person won so that the deal gets done.
There are a thousand countless decisions that are made every day that change so many aspects of your life you can’t possibly imagine. It’s an invisible spiderweb of interconnected choices that you are caught in. You can tell me “it’s not worth getting worked up about,” and we can just have a difference of opinion. But you cannot tell me this election, every election, doesn’t matter.
Many smart people I know like to brag that they aren’t straight ticket voters like that’s something to be proud of. It MAY be. Or it just may be a sign you’re not paying attention.
If you vote GOP, you vote with a lot of racists. A lot of them. Now, again, as I clarified in my Pete Ricketts post, this is not the same thing as saying ALL Republicans are racist. They aren’t. But by God MOST racists ARE Republican. And if you vote red, you’re definitely voting with way more people who hate minorities, women, and LGBTQ folks than anyone voting blue.
If you vote GOP, you’re voting for a party that would rather give a billion dollar tax break to a company than give $50 to a single mother.
If you vote GOP, you’re voting for the party of war, the party of no, the party that fought against gay marriage as recently as the last election, the party that made damn sure there would be no increased background checks despite 90% of the public being in support, the party that is 90% white and overwhelmingly male.
Vote for Chuck Hassebrook.
Vote for Brad Ashford.
Please, please, please vote for Amanda McGill.
I am not one of those people who say “the important thing is just that you vote.” No. Bullshit. The important thing is that you vote for the right person.
And now, here’s the best news, the optimism that will carry me through the very likely scenario of the Democrats losing the Senate: The GOP is running out of time. If not this cycle, very soon, the demographics of this country will have changed so much that they can no longer ignore minority voices, spit on women’s issues, and pocket fat wads of corporate cash. Bradbury once said that “Time is the fire in which we all burn.” Time has almost run out for a way of thinking that is as restrictive and disrespectful as what that party has come to stand for.
So today and tomorrow is about raging against the dying of the light for both parties. For me, here in Nebraska, it means hoping some of the right people get through. It means encouraging all of you to hit those booths and make smart decisions (I’m seriously here if you need me to get you there or answer any questions). For the GOP, it means trying to squeeze out one more round, one more grasp to that top rung of the ladder.
It’s life or death. I am worked up. I will vote. I will vote blue.