Please Vote

Please Vote. I know it’s past noon on Tuesday already, but please vote.

For a while, ever since my punk as fuck days when I was in middle school, I often struggled with the idea of voting. It was very easy to be disgruntled about the two-party system in particular; this period coincided with Ralph Nader’s 2000 campaign, which was tremendously easy for any burgeoning leftist to get behind.

Nader did, uhm, not win that election, but he got enough votes to get some Democrats to bitch about how he siphoned off votes from Gore, and this left a bad taste in my mouth. It seemed to me that Democrats felt entitled to the votes of everyone to the left of “utter psychopath” and were blaming their own failures on somebody else. And, in the 18 years since, there’s part of me that still sees that sense of entitlement as a driving force of how the Democratic party operates; contented with pat neo-liberalism and unwilling (or unable) to consider the ways in which this is failing their constituents.

I didn’t vote in 2006, 2008, or 2010. I was totally OK with this. Hell, I was proud of myself in 2006. I told everyone who would listen that I did not vote. Naturally, not everyone was happy to hear me say that, and I heard a lot of “Well then you don’t get to complain about the results” in return.

I still truly dislike this line of reasoning. I don’t think it’s valid to say that political systems must be criticized on their own terms. Hearing this argument parroted got me to dig my heels in, and increased my conviction that nobody in the political mainstream was interested in fixing the institutional problems of our democracy.

But that was a long time ago, and in the years since, I’ve matured enough to no longer regard apathy as a viable lifestyle choice. Do SOMETHING. You wanna know how a sentient can of rapey cheese whiz gets elected President? You wanna know how every congressional district gets gerrymandered all to shit? You wanna know how Mitch McConnell is even allowed to exist? It’s because privileged dweebs like me decide that because nothing about voting caters to me specifically, the act of voting itself is generally worthless. And that’s myopic, spoiled horseshit.

Don’t be like old Rob. Please vote. That is all.

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