Duty or Right? Why I Voted

 I vote in the presidential elections, but usually skip the midterm elections. 

So why did I join the voters today?

Officium vocat. (Duty calls.)

Tonight on the news, we will see film clips of urban voters standing in long lines that snake out the door.  Shivering in the cold, they will make cheerful remarks about their determination to vote. I am a grumpy voter: like Larry David in Curb Your Enthusiasm, I would turn around and go home if the line were too long.  The difference:  he would pretend to have voted! I would  deliver a tedious monologue on the angst of voting.

This year I was sick:  but I voted anyway. I admit, the Dems have disappointed me in the last two years, but the alternative is much worse.   Aside from arming the Ukraine with weapons, a morally ambiguous move at best, the government has accomplished little since 2021.  They have done nada for the environment, nada for women’s rights, as good as nada for gun control, and under their watch, Trump’s Supreme Court has revoked Roe v. Wade.   

The Republican agenda is so over-the-top that I could not in good conscience stay away from the polls. The Repubs campaign relentlessly against abortion, pass fetal heartbeat laws, draft bills to ban books and send teachers to prison for assigning Y.A. books, want to crush Affirmative Action, deprive public schools and universities of funding, and what next?  Perhaps a bill to deprive women and Blacks of voting rights? I would not be surprised.

There was no line.  There were three ID checkers, who scanned the IDs and gave us receipts, which we handed over at another table to get our ballots, and then we sat in a  cubicle and filled in rectangles next to the Dem. candidates’ names.  

I voted, because I don’t want to live in It Can’t Happen Here, 1984, The Handmaid’s Tale, Fahrenheit 451, or Kim Stanley Robinson’s The Ministry for the Future.

And so I voted. It can’t hurt.  It might help.

Good luck!  We should know the results by 10 or 11 p.m., yes?

Does Voting Matter? One Can But Hope

Do you ever wake up and feel like this?

“Oh no.  No, no, no,” I thought after Bernie Sanders had a heart attack two weeks ago. “If he doesn’t run, I won’t vote.”

I have felt increasingly ambivalent about the power of my vote. That is to say, I feel powerless. I elected precisely two politicians in the last election. The state has gone red, and my vote no longer counts.

I  supported Bernie in the last presidential election, and he is still at the top of the pack, as far as I’m concerned. I agree with his socialist policies:  the Green New Deal, Medicare for all, free college tuition, eliminating college debt and medical debts, and banning advertising during presidential debates.  

The other candidates have made little impression on me.  I can’t see jumping out of bed and running to the polls to vote for liberals with spotty voting records.  And then there’s the image thing.  I think Elizabeth Warren’s PR people made a huge mistake in squandering several thousand dollars on a Facebook ad, in which they posted fake news, in order to show how easily misinformation can be promulgated.  Wouldn’t it have been more effective  to cancel her Facebook page in protest?  It’s not just the fake news problem, it’s the sad fact that people have been seduced to post all their private information at Facebook.  


Okay, every candidate has “borrowed” Bernie’s policies for his or her platform, so everyone is all right, right?  But the media are pushing only three of them:  Biden, Warren, and  Bernie.  No one else has been able to climb up from the middle or the bottom of the pack.  And that seems improbable.

I will vote next year, whether I like it or not.  The world is a mess.   I no longer have the option of not voting.  One votes in case it counts.

And I’m relieved Bernie is back:  he will participate in the debate on Tuesday. (Check his voting record:  he does what he says.)

Go, Bernie!

%d bloggers like this: