In just over a week, Alabamans will be going to the polls to choose who will replace so-called Attorney General Jeff Sessions in representing them in the US Senate. They’re choosing between Doug Jones, the Democrat who finally brought Klan members Thomas Blanton Jr. and Bobby Cherry to justice for murdering four little girls in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham in 1963, and a Republican who is both manifestly unqualified (as a judge, he was fired TWICE for BLATANTLY violating the Constitution) and a despicable human being (pedophile, Islamophobe, doesn’t think women should be “allowed” to hold office or even vote).
Doug Jones could win this thing – which would be huge, turning a deep red seat blue, narrowing the Republicans margin in the Senate (why does that matter? TAX CUT BILL, YO, and call your Senators about this RIGHT NOW), and putting the fear of Americans’ righteous rage into the GOP – but it’s way closer than it should be.
(Hold on to your hat, because this is about to become a rant.)
I am FUCKING SICK of “the candidate didn’t excite me” narratives. We heard it about Al Gore. We heard it about John Kerry. We heard it about Hillary.
You know what happened in each of those cases?
DEMOCRATS LOST AND THE REPUBLICANS WHO WON PROCEEDED TO FUCK EVERYTHING UP.
Voting in elections is not FUCKING AMERICAN IDOL. And using “I’m not excited about the candidate” as an excuse not to vote is CHILDISH and STUPID.
Who benefits from this attitude?
Not Democrats. Not progressive candidates. Not women. Not people of color. Not the poor. Not children. Not LGBT people. Not people with disabilities.
You know who benefits?
George Bush. Donald Trump. Roy Moore. The Koch brothers. The Mercers. Sheldon Adelson. Steve Bannon. Rush Limbaugh. Alex Jones. Fox News. Neo-Nazis.
GOP voters SHOW UP, and they don’t care about whether the candidate makes them feel all warm and fuzzy.
My fellow progressive and left-leaning citizens: Stop treating voting like you’re being wooed by THE GODDAMN BACHELOR, and WAKE UP to the FACT that voting is a not just a right and a privilege but a DUTY OF CITIZENSHIP.
That’s right – DUTY. Your duties as a citizen are relatively few: pay your taxes, serve on juries when called, and VOTE.
Not voting disrespects your elders. The Suffragists who were beaten on the streets and tortured in jail to win women the right to vote. The civil rights leaders who were beaten on the streets, sexually assaulted in the jails, and killed to win African-Americans the right to vote.
Do you claim to respect veterans and their service to our country? If you don’t vote, you’re a liar, and you’re spitting on their sacrifices.
People SUFFERED AND DIED to win you the franchise.
GROW UP AND GET YOUR GODDAMN ASS TO THE GODDAMN POLLS.
(Yes, I am well aware that voter suppression is a serious problem and getting worse. Since SCOTUS gutted the Voting Rights Act in 2013, 35 states have introduced legislation to restrict voting access. Those measures are laser-targeted at the Democratic base: African-Americans, young people, the elderly, the poor. Restrictive voter ID laws (and then closing the majority of state offices where one can get those IDs in majority black counties, Alabama, I’m looking at you). Ending early voting. Making it harder to vote absentee. Closing polling places so that people face interminable lines when they do show up to vote. Inappropriately purging registered voters. Making it more difficult to register in the first place. NO EXCUSE. Alabama state troopers cracked open John Lewis’s skull on the Edmund Pettus bridge (fucking Alabama AGAIN. Jesus). Suffragists endured The Night of Terror in Occoquan, VA. Until we can get the We The People Democracy Reform Act of 2017 passed and restore the protections of the VRA, we’re all just going to have to work harder to claim our right and fulfill our duty. Woman (or man) up.)
Read this nice-time story published today about Nepalese Sherpas who walked through the mountains for hours and camped overnight to vote, and be like them.
Image found here.
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