Tuesday, November 6th, 2012
Don’t Vote, As Long As You Do.
My late mother pounded into my head the idea that every American had an obligation to vote, and anyone who didn’t vote was disrespecting those who fought and died for our right to have a voice in the political process. She not only talked about it, but she threatened to disown me, her own son, if I didn’t vote. She said “It doesn’t matter who you vote for, so long as you vote”.
I don’t agree with her, at all. Voting out of duty is a bit like hitching the wagon to any old horse, the sick one, or the old one. The suggestion that it doesn’t matter who we vote for, as along as vote, is problematic. It’s like saying “It doesn’t matter who you work for, as long as you have a job”. Really? If we hate our job, we choose to find another one. Perhaps more accurate, “It doesn’t matter who you have sex with, as long as you do it”. Oh, no…we all know that isn’t true.
But, you see, it does matter, deeply, and choosing to not vote is an option of great power and personal choice. It means something not to vote, that my vote matters so much that I don’t want to toss it away on either idiot..assuming it’s the usual two party choice. “Don’t vote…” the quote goes, “..it only encourages them!” I have many friends that aren’t planning on voting this time, most of them are opting out because they just don’t think it matters. Others are going to cast their votes to third party and fringe candidates of whom most have been wrongly excluded from the national electoral stage. Many others will cast their vote for either tweedle dee or tweedle dum. Good for all of them. Me? Yeah, I voted this year.
What’s perfect about all of this is that it reflects who we are as a country. We’re the responsible citizens and the spoiled brats, we’re died in the wool partisans and frindge loving weirdos. We’re whack jobs and wunderkind, drifters and do-gooders, irresponsible, insatiable, and highly successful people. And when you toss everyone into the american stew pot what you get is a damned loud and obnoxious mess, and we are all the better for it.
It’s tilt a whirl America, roller coaster democracy, the merry go round and round of political mess and mayhem, it’s one person, one vote, and a million different ideas.
Isn’t it grand? Isn’t it beautiful?
So don’t vote, or, vote…just as long as you choose.