Monday, November 03, 2014

I Know, But PLEASE Vote Anyway!

When I think of the brave efforts made and terrible horrors endured by both the Suffragists of the early 20th century and the Civil Rights activists of the 50s and 60s so that women and blacks could secure the right to vote, it makes me very sad that so many people today have come to view voting as pointless.

I do understand why. Our governments – locally, statewide and federally – have become completely co-opted by Big Money: corporations, lobbyists for various industries, and rich individuals, whose only concerns are maintaining and furthering their own interests. In both houses of Congress, the vast majority of Representatives and Senators are (1) male, (2) white and (3) millionaires, multi-millionaires and a few billionaires. Their concern seems to be getting elected (and re-elected) to their cushy jobs with good salaries (everyone needs pin money), extraordinary benefits & perks, and very brief actual-work periods.

The Republicans, once a stodgy party interested primarily in minimal government spending and low taxes for the upper middle class and rich (when rich wasn’t yet obscenely ΓΌber wealthy), has moved so far to the Lunatic Fringe Right and Ultra Conservative that they have zero concern for anybody’s human rights, civil rights, health & well-being, education, or anything else that should accompany citizenship for all citizens. In the name of Christianity (which shouldn’t even be in the picture!), they’ve decided that they and they alone hold the moral high ground on every conceivable issue. And ever since the election of America’s first black President, all that has been transparent is their racism and determination to prevent him from functioning – and they’ve made a good job of it!

But perhaps even more disappointing are the Democrats. We know who and what the Republicans are. But who and what are the Democrats? They’re disconnected from each other; generally cowardly when it comes to speaking to and acting against any sort of formidable, oppositional power; they have been unsupportive of their own President; and as a result of all this, have failed utterly to combat the 1% on behalf of the rest of us. They appear to be a bit more willing and able to rise to the occasion for this critical mid-term election and the endless campaign for the 2016 Presidency that will immediately follow, but still, it is indeed hard to work up a whole lot of enthusiasm for them. 

ALL THAT SAID, IT IS STILL VITALLY IMPORTANT THAT EVERYONE WHO CAN VOTE MAKE IT TO THE POLLS TOMORROW. There is no same day registration/voting in NYC (I checked); I don’t know about the rest of the state, or whatever locale and state you live in. But unlike Presidential elections, during which you might legitimately feel that your blue or red state is going to go blue or red with or without you, EVERY SINGLE VOTE IN THIS ELECTION MATTERS, BECAUSE EVERYTHING IS DETERMINED BY THE POPULAR VOTE

If you don’t want to render President Obama completely impotent for the next two years, the Democrats, for all their weaknesses, must NOT lose control of the Senate. There are opportunities nationwide to get rid of some entrenched Republican Congressional representatives or avoid new ones. There are critical Governorships and State Senatorial races. There are important Propositions on the ballots of many states. There is an opportunity tomorrow to show by our numbers that we’re here and we do care about the governments we have. We may not be able to make great strides this time around, but we can rattle the status quo – perhaps just enough to enlarge Democratic balls and impact for 2016. Don’t give up yet. Please vote tomorrow and give what’s left of American democracy a fighting chance.

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