My father and I are standing in line to early vote (we arrived at like 4:30 on Friday, classic procrastinator style…) when he says “I’m glad you asked if I wanted to come with– I actually wasn’t going to vote.”
Yes, we are in a red state. We reside within the big blue dot that is the capitol. Thanks to some crafty gerrymandering we have one blue seat in Congress, and he’s not going anywhere. We could easily pull off two or three blue seats. But when the lines are drawn between and around neighborhoods and right through a city, it’s very very easy to be discouraged. But voting is so much more than just that.
I voted for Bernie (quite proudly) in the primaries. I hate the way Hillary became the nominee. This process must be updated/altered in the next three years. But these first few days of November, that doesn’t matter.
we must vote. all of us.
All of us. Each and every one of us. We have to vote. We have to vote in ALL elections. The people we choose (or allow to be chosen for us) at a city/local level often later represent us in state congresses. State congresses breed the politicians we send to DC. Don’t like your local officials? Vote them out! No one is running against the arrogant jerk incumbent? You could run. Your favorite local activist should be encouraged to run. Don’t let self-centered pricks win simply because no one runs against them. Give them a run for their money. Make them scared. Make them work for their elected position. (Remember Eric Cantor? Prominent DC Congressman who failed to give a shit about his primary and lost. This is how we make change.)
Once local politicians make it to state congress, the DNC and RNC have people watching them, looking for potential leaders in DC. Let’s not let these assholes into those seats, or vote them out after their first lousy term. Let’s not let national politics pick up these people, give them money, and turn them into puppets for their own games and private agendas.
because change must come.
Political change has to happen in two ways.
Us: from the local to the state to the nation.
The System: we must demand reform from our voting system. Times change, technology changes, we are not delivering vote tallies by horse anymore.
We must prove that as citizens, we want our voices to be heard. We want our opinions to be taken seriously. From school board to POTUS, our opinions matter and our elected officials are obligated to listen. And when they don’t want to listen, we literally have to call and write and email and harass until they have to choice but to hear us.
The antiquated electoral college is obviously in need of reform, or perhaps removal. If Democrats want to lead the way in those reforms, its time to nix super-delegates and allow all states to split their primary delegate votes by percentage. Likewise, the electoral college needs to disappear or have every state split electoral votes among candidates (like Maine and Nebraska already do). This not only allows third party voters to have a voice, it allows all of us to feel like our vote actually matters. Regardless of which state we live in. And that’s because our votes will actually matter.
We must continue voting until every vote counts, and every vote counts equally.