It’s come to my attention that 11% of the California electorate bothered to stand their asses at a polling place this week or travel to the nearest USPS building to mail their ballot in the past month. Absolutely appalling. I get it, it feels as though nothing changes despite all of these elections, both local and otherwise, but if the story of the frog in the pot is true, we’re getting slow cooked. Apparently 89% of people who can vote are cool with b eing rolled over, albeit, at a glacial pace. Why should anyone care to use the one thing that has a direct impact on the outcome of some of these bills/laws coming into play? Not like anything is going to change right? Yeah until it changes and those same people who didn’t vote now feel entitled to complain. Newsflash: If you don’t vote, you don’t have a right to complain.
If anything, local elections should be markedly more important for the average citizen because those measures, bills, and officials will be tied to developments that affect them directly. The presidential election isn’t the only one worth slapping on a I Voted sticker and frankly it pales in urgency to matters that govern state/city ways of life. But it’s cool to not give a shit and act as though one is one step ahead of the man. Or to act as though one is just sooooo busy that they can’t be bothered to spend a maximum of an hour standing line to have some deterministic choice in the future of their city. Yet this same asshat will stand in line for 5 hours for the Nintendo Switch. Priorities where?
There’s a certain level of cognitive dissonance that’s pervading this crazy ass country. Some people will know more about the details of a celebrity birth than what the three branches of government are supposed to do. Some claim politics is too dense, too hard, and boring, but they’ll be able to recite the hooks for the top three pop songs on the radio right now. How politics is viewed in this country is the real issue at hand. Yes, we do elect representatives to vote on our behalf on a myriad of legislation coming and going. If a town hall had to be scheduled for every piece of legislature, no one would get anything done. But the problem becomes when we start to dissociate ourselves from the political process by assuming Joe Schoe will always vote in our interest and for our benefit. Which I believe to be the intention of most of our elected representatives. Does that always come to the fruition? Hell no. But who’s watching the watchers? Who’s holding these officials accountable for their actions and making sure they’re doing right by their constituents?
Therein lies the danger of complacency, apathy, and being completely disengaged from taking command of what the fuck is happening in one’s world politically. There’s a reason why shitbag politicians end up in office and it starts with those people who believe voting is a waste of time. That’s exactly what these predatory, sociopathic, power tripping, megalomaniacs want the public to believe. If people have no faith in the system then the system can be manipulated into working for those in the system while maintaining the status quo for everyone else. That’s how you get corporations with the same rights as human beings (very interesting history behind it) and government officials literally ignoring residents in Flint, MI despite the water crisis still being a national level emergency. Yet nobody is saying shit, very few people are voting to prevent things like this from happening on a consistent basis, and old problems continue to mutate into new ones.
I will never understand this cheeky/chip-on-the-shoulder notion of “Well if it doesn’t affect me personally, it’s not a problem.” You mean to tell me that just because you aren’t subject to drinking brown water that causes developmental issues within young children that may or may not be yours, it’s not a problem that needs to be addressed right away? So you’re saying this will never happen because this is America? I mean I know it’s 2017, but didn’t the same people that voted for a fucking dead gorilla claim that Trump would never win? Everything doesn’t have to affect someone personally for it be worth having some awareness about. Being mindful of what the fuck is going on around one’s community does wonders for broadening perspective that may hopefully inspire some action; legally or within the volunteer sphere.
Maybe I’m crazy for actually giving a shit about the consequences of sticking my head in the sand for all of eternity. Maybe I’m just some yuppie asshole trying to stir up trouble for no good reason. Possibly, but I’ll tell you one thing. I’m not gonna get fucked with my head in the sand. I’m gonna be, at the very least, cognizant of the political rape I’m facing. If I can do something about it, you bet your ass I will. But there’s no way I’ll sit idly by as things go the opposite direction of what I desire without a fight.
I feel like modern times makes it so easy to disconnect oneself from real problems that should truly be at the forefront of discussion. Instant-gratification, the information age, and the advancement of technology have made it harder to stay focused on issues that have veritable impact on the populace at large. So many asinine scandals and smear campaigns are launched to distract folks from the real outrageous acts occurring in this country. Some of which are curated for hyperbole by outlets with various agendas and some of which are downplayed in the same manner. It’s hard as shit to figure out what’s worth paying attention to these days.
At the end of the day, through all the bullshit and attempts made at sneaking regime changing legislature past the American people, it’s imperative that we all vote. It’s the lowest effort yet can have some of the highest impact in the political sphere. There’s a reason why campaign trails and campaign organizations seem like the infinity symbol: voting is how shit gets down in this country. It’s also how people get fucked up and disenfranchised. It’s also how unqualified buffoons get into places of power to project their stupidity on a world scale. Our democracy isn’t perfect, but it definitely works despite the mire of bullshit that it sits on top of. Voting is not labeled as a civic duty by accident. It’s everyone’s duty to get out there and shape the future because we’ll have to deal with the consequences of our actions or inaction.