Member preview

Shut Up Telling Others To Shut Up And Go Vote.

With the power over the House and the Senate at stake in the just past midterm elections, the intensity of voter shaming has heightened this year with people of color being harshly admonished for not voting.

Republicans in office it seems are anxious to continue pushing through tax cuts for the rich, and those that vote republican either don’t think this to be true, or don’t care, and are out in droves to support their base.

Democrats who say that have the interest of the middle class at heart are fighting to take power, but their lack of organization and party cohesion continues to hold them back. Their voters are in search of economic relief and are hoping to find it at the polls.

In the balance are those that may want to vote and be a part of the political process, but feel discouraged at the results.

I don’t blame them.

Just like whether or not slavery was a choice is an extremely nuanced question without one catch all answer, voting is a political event that is extremely multifaceted, particularly for people of color in this country.

Overall, yes, our ancestors put in the long hard fighting, and in essence gave their lives for us to be a part of the political process, and not participating is in a way disrespectful to their legacy.

We have to keep in mind though the voting process was created in a time where we as people of color weren’t even allowed to vote, and now that we can, the outcomes are brain rackingly frustrating at best.

Our process still involves the Electoral College, an archaic feature that even the best of political analyst have difficulty explaining. To put it as succinctly as possible, the Electoral College is made up of 538 electors that cast votes to decide the President and Vice President. It has also been called a safeguard against voters who may not be educated enough on who they are voting for to make a well thought out decision.

That’s right. Basically when you vote for President, you’re not voting for President, you’re voting for your state to get electors that will vote for President.

Your country is also saying since they didn’t teach you enough about politics, you are therefore not smart enough to make a good decision as it relates to who should be in office.

Confused yet?

This process of voting but not really voting robbed Hillary Clinton of the last election. She won the popular vote by 2.9 million votes, more than any other losing presidential candidate in history.

Yes, IN HISTORY.

My thinking would be that if a candidate wins the popular vote by a certain percentage or number of votes, that should… trump the Electoral College, truly making every vote count at least as it relates to the Presidential Election.

Better yet, just do away with the Electoral College all together.

If my vote really counts, then my vote should really count. In the last Presidential Election, the country spoke loudly about who we wanted for President.

We were ignored.

Remind me why I voted again?

The education system in this country also does an extremely poor job (on purpose mind you to keep the rich in power, and especially in poorer communities) of teaching the importance of midterm elections and their ramifications, particularly as it relates to who will control the house versus the senate, and what all of that even means.

Then there is the connection the midterm elections supposedly have to the Presidential election. Politicians will tell you the two are closely tied, but the outcomes bring this ideal into question.

What about the Georgia race for Governor where the Secretary Of State Brian Kemp, who is basically in charge of voter registration and vote counting, was allowed to keep his position WHILE RUNNING FOR GOVERNOR? This horrific conflict of interest should not have ever been allowed to happen in the first place. Kemp should have had to give up his seat as Secretary Of State, or not been allowed to run.

Want more? Of course.

What of term limits? One of the reasons this country is stagnant in so many areas is congressman are allowed to hold office for as long as they are voted for. How can we then have any change if the same people are in power making the same decisions?

If the President can hold office for only 8 years, any other office should have the same term limit, even the Supreme Court.

Before you say that the constitution wasn’t written in this fashion, be reminded that we are hundreds of years beyond a constitution that was written by forefathers who may have very well loved this country but obviously had their own intentions at heart.

Also be reminded that’s what amendments are for.

Now, let’s add to all of this the shit show that is 45.

He was still allowed to take office even though it was known the presidential election was tampered.

He was still allowed to take office even though he was under active investigation (though there is no precedent, it is ill advised to allow a candidate under investigation for any crime to become President), and then he without contest fired the FBI director that launched the investigation on him.

Our country is now on the world stage being made a mockery of because the person in our highest office is a misogynist, racist, verbally abusive, petulant child that is using his power to display his narcissism.

Had this been Barack Obama or any candidate of color that was thought to have been part of a tampered election, he would have been ran out of the country before inauguration. Everything possible would have been done to keep him out of office.

Trump, a white man, stole the election and no one batted an eye.

The excruciatingly disappointing part of this is for someone like me who participated in the last election, I didn’t vote for any of this mess and privilege.

All of this and so many other things that are flat out wrong with the political climate in this country plays into the larger question of why should I as a black person in this country even bother with going to the polls.

My vote did not count, and the votes of those that did have created a monster.

Voting is terribly important, and I’m not saying corruption is an excuse not to vote. Some would argue it should be an impetus to get to the polls, but there is an extreme level of wrong doing that permeates the process, and in full transparency has caused me not to vote in several elections.

Voting is supposed to be the top activity in this country that can impact change. You want to feel like your effort is going to truly matter and make a difference, and with voting it truly should, but the politics in this country are so askew, it should be no surprise that some people don’t want to bother spending four hours standing in line to cast a vote that is going to be ignored because those that are in power are going to do what they want to do anyway.

People are now using their voting power not to display that they are trying to make a difference, but rather as a badge of honor to make them seem superior to those who chose not to vote.

The growing nature of insularity in this country has become so ridiculous that people are only willing to see their side of any issue, making not voting a non option that shouldn’t even be considered.

Those that do not go to the polls to vote along with every right clearly have ever reason not to. Voting is not a one sided event that will be solved by everyone participating, especially when the results look like a circus.

No wait, even a circus is more organized than politics of late.

Voting is more an ill-fated process that was never designed to represent all of us, and will never do so until we become dissatisfied enough to force change in the system.