Monday, October 25, 2010

You Know What I'm Going To Say


A week from tomorrow is election day. You may not believe me but for a little bit there I thought about encouraging you not to vote. You see in the primaries in my city just around 10% of voters turned out. Some of that had to do with traditionally low turn out for primaries and some of it was that a lot of polling places were so royally fucked that the people who tried to vote could not. (Let us not even dance around whether or how the votes were counted.) The thing is, I vote all the time. Every time they let me. Even with the hated computer system. And by the tattered corners of my cardstock voter registration card my vote counted way more in September since hardly anyone else bothered. So, you know, if you want to give your neighbor the gift of a much more powerful vote then, sure, you stay home. That's really nice of you. Also trusting. I don't trust my neighbors that much, even though they seem like delightful people.

In case you're waffling on the voting thing because you're angry at the system let me address two topics; one each, it seems to me at least, from either side of the aisle.

There are a lot of people who voted for the first time, or the first time in a very long while, in order to elect our current President. I waited for over an hour to cast my vote that November day. In marked contrast to the recent primaries where all I waited for was the damn instructions on the evil computer vote counter to make sense to me. Now, I'm going to extrapolate a little here but it seems as though a lot of people thought they could cast that one vote for one guy and then throw huge parties (which were fun, I don't deny it) and then the guy they voted for would fix everything and they'd never have to do anything again.

Um. Not true.

You voted for the guy and he's working his tail off (also his wife, his staff and a certain number of his colleagues) and he can't do it alone. No one could. There's a decent chance we can't all do it together. But together has way better odds than alone. If you're disappointed in the guy you voted for and you're not voting? I can't agree with that either. A great way to tell him what you expect him to keep working on is by voting. Our founding fathers might even call it...wait for it...revolutionary.

And now let's speak of accomplishing things. Pardon me while I use a sporting analogy. You know how in recent years we've seen changes in basketball and hockey? Keys have diminished and shot clocks installed among other things. These measures were taken because play was being slowed. A team unconcerned with offense could simply defend and block and slow down the game and keep scoring for either side quite low. There are a lot of reasons this is both good and bad. The main reason that, I think, the changes were implemented was because Americans want to see motion, action, progress, if you will.

So, when you head to the voting booth next Tuesday* (because I know that the strength of my blog post will send you there with bells on your toes and a political action song in your heart) please vote for motion, for action, for progress instead of someone who wants to block all play until someone gives them the ball so they can take it home. Or at least don't vote for someone who is all about the blocking.



*Someone commented on a previous voting post that the only way to vote in her district is to mail in one's ballot and the voter has to pay for the stamp. That can't be within the proper voting rules, can it? Or maybe there's a place downtown where one can drop off one's ballot without the stamp so it gets by on a technicality?


  1. I live in California and vote by mail because it's more convenient, and I don't have to deal with the rudeness at the polling place when the republican poll workers cry out, hey, where's one of those democratic ballots.

    I do have to put "sufficient postage" on mine but I could also turn it in to a local polling place free of charge.

  2. I saw a "don't vote" video produced for the Florida voters. I wish that someone would make more of those...

  3. Sorry... Obama isn't working hard for the things he was elected to achieve. He's a piece of crap as far as I'm concerned, and his party is either against us or too scared to stand for us.

    The problem is, the alternatives are so much worse than the Democrats that we have to vote for them just to prevent the other bunch from rolling back the 20th Century. I'm not excited by the folks in power, but the ones waiting in the wings are even worse.

    So go vote!