Tomorrow is a midterm election day.
I can hear it already. Yawn. What is it with progressives and anyone left of Attila the Hun? Don’t you remember what happened at the last midterm? We had record low voter turnout across the country and in a wide range of close elections—close elections—the Tea Party put enough people in congress to allow for four years of the worst congressional performance in memory.
Let me repeat that. Close elections. We had an average turnout of 23 to 27 % of eligible voters and by any metric Tea Party candidates took seats riding in on around 13 to 15 % of eligible votes. They declared a mandate and proceeded to screw things up so badly that congress has been getting its lowest approval rating since approval ratings were a thing.
The perversity of the average voter being what it is, the blame has been heaped on (a) the System and (b) the President.
The blame is really on this attitude that midterms don’t matter, coupled with a deep conviction that individual votes don’t matter, with an extra dollop of “it doesn’t matter, everything is corrupt anyway.”
The blame—really, does this need saying? Maybe it does. The blame is on bone-stupid lazy people who are too busy to pay attention and have other things to do which they think are more important. Bone stupid. How do you blame a system when you don’t even use it? How do you blame the president, who many of you voted for, when the problem is congress? Why is it so hard for people of an even mildly liberal bent or even a moderate bent to understand the importance of midterms and that the problem is not systemic unless you don’t exercise your primary control function?
Vote! Goddammit, I don’t care who you vote for so much as that you vote! There are differences between the candidates, but sometimes those differences are not apparent in the ten seconds you’re willing to glance at the platforms!
Some key points to keep in mind.
We know, we have seen, it has been demonstrated that financial sector deregulation does not work to the benefit of the working class. Yet low turnout tomorrow will result in a majority of those who have been pushing for exactly that.
We know, we have seen, it has been demonstrated that trickle down economics does not work, yet low turnout tomorrow will likely make that the standard for economic policy.
We know, we have seen, it has been demonstrated that education works less and less well when it is defunded and forced to teach to tests rather than teaching to think, yet a low turnout tomorrow will see education shortchanged even more.
We know, we have seen, it has been demonstrated that reform is necessary in several key areas and said reform has been consistently blocked by a loud, ignorant bloc of congressmen who have a nearsighted vision of the future, and yet low turnout tomorrow will hand them a larger mandate—immigration reform, infrastructure funding, science, tax reform, healthcare.
We know, we have seen, it has been demonstrated that corporations have no conscience, do not have the best interests of anyone other than their shareholders in view, and have used every single opportunity to maximize the pillage of our national treasure to the detriment of our citizens, and yet low turnout tomorrow will see an expansion of the view that corporations are somehow People and should be privileged over and above the workers they employ.
Now, it may be that those who read this will think that all those things are generally good things. Fine. Vote accordingly. But if you don’t think that’s the path we should be treading, vote accordingly but for the country’s sake, VOTE!
Naturally, I assume I’m preaching to the choir here, but who knows? It’s that choir that keeps sitting out the midterms and I’m tired of living with the results of your disinterest.
This has been a personal public service announcement.