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HOW close do you want to get?
Repost: Voting 
3rd-Jun-2014 02:31 pm
Politics
There are local elections happening all over the US today.

Voting is a right in this country, but it is also an incredible privilege in the face of history.If it's too much trouble, you don't have to vote.

If you don't feel like it, then you don't have to vote.

If something for which men went to war, for which men and women were beaten, which some of your ancestors didn't fully have until less than half a century ago, matters so little to you that you can't make time for it EVERY COUPLE OF YEARS (and you could've voted by mail WEEKS ago), within blocks of your house, well, then don't.

Don't put yourself out because of peer pressure. If it means that little to you, you don't have to waste poll-workers' time.

Let those who care vote.

If you send out lies which are easily debunked and continue to believe them even though your only defense against the careful point-by-point explanation of WHY these lies ARE lies (or at least exaggerations or twisted truth) is "Well, yeah, you'd say that, you're a liberal/conservative/woman/man/etc!" or "I don't have time to read all that!" you don't have to vote.

If you send a lie and someone debunks it and you say "Yeah, but it TOTALLY sounds like something that person would do/say/think" or "Who cares about the facts, it's funny!" or "Who cares about the facts, s/he sucks anyway!" you don't have to vote.

If you spread funny political memes without actually having heard or seen the source in context, you don't have to vote.

If your contributions to political discussions consist entirely of phrases that begin "Well, pundit/celebrity/guy on the internet says" " you don't have to vote

If you think that a site with its agenda right in its URL is a useful news source, you don't have to vote.

If you're voting for a candidate based on looks or previous non-political fame, you don't have to vote.

If you don't think there's really any difference between candidates, and refuse to educate yourself as to what that might be, because there's no difference and there's a game on, you don't have to vote.

If you don't care about any of the issues and just fill in circles or arrows or punch holes at random or in a pretty pattern, or based on liking the candidate's name, you don't have to vote.

If you think that getting yourself to a place within a few blocks from your home within a thirteen-hour windowis kinda inconvenient, and so is voting by mail, you don't have to vote.

But you can.

The wonder of this country is that, as long as you got your act together and registered, you can vote. So, if you truly want to vote, do so.

Bring your notes and sample ballots with you (but don't leave them behind for the next person, that's actually illegal. Also don't wear anything or carry anything that visibly shows a side you're on; you don't want to be turned away!), take time to make sure you punch or fill in the correct places, and make sure that you don't take it for granted. Or vote by mail and take your time. Or fill in your vote by mail ballot in the comfort of your own home and drop it off at the polling place in person (that's what I do; best of both worlds, a nice leisurely fill in and feeling the physicality of being part of the process.).

Savor it.

Think hard about what and who you're voting for, why you're voting that way, and how it will affect not only your lives, and your children's and their children's, but the lives of all Americans. Most of us are allowed to vote simply because we were lucky enough to be born here.

Never take that for granted.
Comments 
3rd-Jun-2014 10:24 pm (UTC)
Damn, I love the way you power post! This is hard hitting. I can't wait till our local elections in August - our Mayor's have been collectively boning Kansas City up one end and down the other end. It's like "Yes, I did vote for the property tax increase. I don't mind my rent going up as a result. BUT YOU SAID YOU'D PUT THAT MONEY INTO SCHOOLS AND IT'S NOT GOING THERE!"

Ugh. I don't even HAVE kids and I want those schools to improve. It's important for EVERYONE!

YES!
4th-Jun-2014 03:43 am (UTC)
I wrote a version of it the day of the 2008 Presidential election, when one of my co-workers didn't know who Sarah Palin was and someone in the elevator of work's building saw someone else's sticker and said "Oh, yeah, that voting thing is today." I was both angry and completely at peace with the idea that if people don't want to vote, fine! It should be left to those who try to be informed.

The only things I care about in the local election, neither of which affect me personally (a proposition to provide low-income housing for homeless senior veterans and a proposition to extend a previous healthcare measure,basicaly providing a safety net for various groups) are at a solid 2/3s as of this writing.
4th-Jun-2014 10:42 am (UTC)
That is...wow, that's frightening. How can you not know who Palin is? OMG. It's people like that make me despair. Jesus. National elections affect EVERYONE.

And it's good to know I'm not the only one who votes on issues that won't affect them. It's often the only tool I have to help others - my vote. I don't know why other people don't use THEIRS.
4th-Jun-2014 05:42 am (UTC)
None of those people have to vote, and they probably missed their chance, anyway. In truth, I'd rather the uninformed don't.

But.... because they don't even take a blank ballot and drop it in the box, they loose any right to complain about "how bad the gummint is". I don't care that someone votes for any candidate at all, just that they actually go to the polls and cast a ballot. At that, they've participated and are allowed to complain. IMNSHO, of course.

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