Before I head out to the east coast for a nice weekend with family, I am directing you to this Medium piece by Michael Arnovitz called “Thinking about Hillary — A Follow-up” which makes some excellent points. The first set of points it makes is about the sexist, misogynistic crap that Hillary gets just because she’s a woman running for office. I’m not going to really go on about that, since I’ve already made that point in many venues, and frankly, I’m kind of tired of pointing it out.
But the other thing that Arnovitz talks about is the young vote:
“You know those old people you like to make fun of? The conservative, tea-party seniors who watch Fox News 24 hours a day and say crazy, racist shit at Thanksgiving dinner? Quick note on them: they vote. They always vote. They vote like it’s a goddamn religion. Meanwhile, the vast majority of people in your age group couldn’t find a voting booth with a state-of-the-art GPS stuffed up their ass. Take a look at the graph above again. See the information on the right? It was put together in 2014 by the Pew Research Center. At the bottom of all of those bars you’ll see a segment called “Bystanders.” This refers to people “On the sidelines of the political process who are not registered to vote and pay very little attention to politics.” With seniors that segment is at only 3%. In your age group that same segment skyrockets to nearly 20%. Do you see a pattern developing here?
I realize that it’s difficult to appreciate the value of historical perspective when you’re too young to actually have any. But you know who does have a little historical perspective? Seniors. And maybe that’s one of the reasons they are so serious about voting. Because unlike you, they’ve been around long enough to know that voting booths are the place where shiny new political movements go to die. And maybe they also know that rallies with twenty or thirty thousand people may seem amazing and powerful while you are at them, but voting is the real difference between a large political movement and a large political circle-jerk.
And in regard to so much of the attitude I’m seeing — No matter how much we plead for you to get involved and no matter how fiercely you are courted by politicians, the majority of you steadfastly refuse to express any interest in voting. And yet somehow there is no end to your bitter and entitled disappointment with the American electoral system. Really, it’s like watching a bunch of vegans bitch about how pork doesn’t taste as good as it used to. And quite frankly, it takes a particularly special pair of stones to vote this badly and then have the fucking gall to claim that your vote was suppressed. So here’s your free wake-up call from Uncle Mike: nobody needs to go to the bother of suppressing your vote. You’re doing that just fine on your own. Quite frankly, all anyone who’s worried about the “youth vote” needs to do is let you be you.
History, as the saying goes, is made by those who show up.
I bolded the important bits for you.
I think this is equally true for the progressive vote. There are so many people in the progressive movement who are quite willing to bitch about the system, and yet they won’t vote, especially in off years. Nor will they consider running for office. That is just a shame. I mean, we’ve just seen with Brexit the importance of voting, and yet people just give up on voting because they think that it doesn’t count.
But if the people you don’t want making the decisions about this country are showing up to vote and you aren’t, then well, we get what we have now.
Yes, some states have crap election rules right now, so now is the time to help each other get to the polls, or get an absentee ballot, or vote by mail, especially if there isn’t a “time off to vote” law in your state. Help people get their IDs so that they can vote. Drive them to the polls.
But seriously, vote. I don’t really give a shit if you like Hillary or not. I don’t really care if you decide not to vote for president at all, but there are other elections that are down-ticket that are just as important, if not more important.
THE ENTIRE HOUSE AND 1/3 OF THE SENATE IS UP FOR GRABS. IF YOU DON’T WANT THE SAME CONGRESS AS WE’VE HAD THE LAST 8 YEARS, THEN GET OFF YOUR ASS AND VOTE!!
Show up and change history. I will.