Today is Election Day. Midterms may not be as sexay and glamorous as the 2008 Presidential elections were, but they’re just as important, if not more.
Because there are even more bigoted, unbelievably stupid crazies this time around. See: Christine “I’m Not a Witch, I Am You!” O’Donnell, Sharron “I’ve Been Called the First Asian Legislator in Nevada!” Angle, and the entire Tea Party and their misspelled signs that would be hilarious if not so terrifyingly earnest.
As underrepresented people of color, issues that matter deeply to our well-being will be at the top of the national agenda in the coming term: whether it’s immigration, the economy, or gay rights — and who controls the House and Senate will deeply affect whether our human rights are advocated for or curtailed.
Yeah, we’ve heard the arguments that the two parties are basically in the same bed, and all the candidates are the same crooked politicians whether Dem or Republican, and that none of it makes a difference anyway and why even bother because what we really need is to abolish the two-party system and implement Socialism like the Scandinavians and move to Canada and blah blah blah.
I can understand and even agree with the logic of these arguments — but this time around there is too much at stake, and our civic engagement DOES MATTER. Because every ballot you fail to cast is basically a vote FOR Republicans. Yeah, you may have your “principles”, but you’re about to skewer everyone else on them (remember Nader & the Green Party), so get over yourself and just vote for the lesser of two evils (and if you’re in New York, please don’t ironically vote for Jimmy McMillan of the Rent is 2 Damn High Party — the man has a good point and even better facial hair, but this guy’ll never win and every vote wasted on him puts homophobic Carl Paladino closer to the Governor’s seat).
Also, I find that people who tow this line usually take voting for granted (i.e. entitled hippie/hipster white dudes), and are ignoring the historical legacy of the civil rights movement and the efforts of folks who died in the struggle for enfranchisement. Women, people of color, the poor and landless, basically everyone who ever got shat on in this country have been a part of this.
And as a largely immigrant community, we know that not everyone in our immediate family has the right to vote. So us 1st, 1.5, 2nd, and so-on generations should understand the long, challenging, but extremely coveted process that is the path to naturalization and the ability to go to the polls. Voting is not only a right but a privilege, and I personally feel that by not voting, I’d be trivializing the struggles of those who fought so hard for my right to have a voice. Basically, I’d be an ungrateful, spoiled, assbrat.
Our population is also the most at risk of “dropping off” from voting: whereas we turned out in record numbers in 2008 — people of color, young adults, single women, and low-income folks have the highest potential for not voting in the midterms. But you know who mos def will be voting? See aforementioned crazies and their supporters. And in order to win, they are banking on the hopes that people like us do not turn out.
So please please on my knees — go to the polls, mail in your ballot, and convince your friends and fam to do the same. Or sweet jeebus help me I will totally de-friend you on the facebook and cut you in line when we’re all down at the food bank four years from now cuz the the Repubes swindled all our money and flushed the economy completely down the toilet.