I know I have posted about voting before, but recently I read the statistic that only 42% of eligible voters voted in the 2014 elections.  This is the lowest rate of any of the developed countries. Today I read posts on two Facebook friends’ (one white, one black) pages explaining why they are not going to vote because all of the candidates are assholes. Look, I understand that this may be true.  There are no angels here, but it is cynicism like this that is going to let one of these assholes be elected. There may not be angels, but there are better and worse candidates. To not vote is a sign of privilege.  The people who sit out for what they see as “principled” reasons are those who feel they won’t be affected by whoever is elected. For some people having one or the other of these candidates elected is going to be literally a matter of life and death: deportation of a beloved family member, food stamp benefits being cut, social security cuts, sending someone off to war, more wage inequality, or curtailment of women’s health rights. Those in power are counting on and have even engineered the non-voting of significant segments of our population. For some it is the basis of their power.

I admit that government shenanigans are enough to cause despair. The whole corrupt system seems impregnable, rigged for those with money, and comprised of people who do not see the realities around us. The revolution that changes this system will not only not be televised, it will not come.  We are going to be left with the system we have and if we don’t make that system work for us, for the common people, life is going to be much worse.  Saying that you are not going to vote is like the petulant kid who says he will go home if he can’t get what he wants. The game will go on and there still will be winners and losers.

Maybe it’s growing up when people marched, fought and died for the right to vote.  Maybe it’s just knowing that some people don’t want me to vote that arouses the contrarian in me. They are however going to have to pry that ballot from my cold dead hand to stop me. I will keep holding my nose and voting for the asshole who seems the best to me rather than allowing one of the other assholes to win. One has to fight with whatever one can. Please, everyone vote or stop complaining about getting the government you deserve but don’t want.

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