It's Not "Vote-Shaming"; It's Telling You Not to Be an Asshole

Let's put aside some very real and insidious impediments to voting. Let's put aside those affected by the vile voter i.d. laws that target the poor and non-white. Let's put aside those who have been purged from voter rolls by the corrupt fuckers who run elections in their states. Let's put aside people for whom poverty has made voting almost impossible, people who live in rural areas without transportation, people forced to work multiple jobs to just fucking live in this cruel economy, people who haven't gotten the education they need to do things like vote absentee. Put all of those citizens aside for this argument. This isn't directed at any of them because outside forces have screwed up their right to vote, which shouldn't happen in anything we want to call "democracy."

Hell, let's even put aside people who, for some fuckin' reason or other, can't negotiate our admittedly and absurdly baroque and broken patchwork of voter registration procedures.

No, this is directed at every wannabe leftist rebel or liberal louche slacker who thinks it's cool to be anti-establishment and who express that wannabe rebellion or coolness by not voting.

You think withholding your vote is some kinda fuckin' grand statement, that the Democratic Party is a corrupt machine that doesn't respond to real progressive goals; that you aren't going to participate in a system that is so fucked up; that money in politics, from Wall Street, from polluters, from billionaires, has screwed the electoral pooch and then turned it over screwed it again; that the Democratic candidate in your state or district pisses you off because they don't agree with you on everything?

Well, fuckin' welcome to the house of American politics. The Democratic Party is a corrupt machine, the system is fucked up, that electoral pooch keeps getting screwed by wads of cash, and every candidate will piss you off in some way. Yeah, it sucks shit to have to vote for Joe fuckin' Manchin. We know the joint's a mess, but it's the place where we gotta live. You can try to build another place, which means you gotta buy the building material, hire the labor, and get all the permits. Or you can pick up a broom and help clean up this one right now.

Not voting when you are ready and able to vote is privilege taken to the hilt. The non-voters on the left have decided that their beliefs trump (goddamn him for taking that word from us) whatever good can be done through elections as the parties stand now. If you don't vote and that causes Republicans to keep both houses of Congress, you have condemned yourself and all the people you think you're taking a stand for to at least two more years and the lingering effects of gutted social programs, of a war on women and non-whites, of an openly racist immigration policy, of inaction on climate change, and so very much more. You will be deciding that you would rather that happen, you would rather fuck up real lives of real people, than you compromised.

That makes you an asshole. That makes anyone you know who's doing the same an asshole. You are being a bunch of assholes. You have a choice here. You can choose to not be an asshole.

No, a Democratic Party with some power isn't going to change everything. But it's sure as shit all we've got right now. And I know, I know, I fuckin' know that every election is important. We should have learned that in 2010, when the failure of Obama's voters to show up at the polls brought us to this fucked point. Yet lemme pull the old man card: This one feels different. This one feels as if we have a chance to pull the country back from a precipice, and that if we don't, if Trump has his power affirmed, we're gonna head down some dark-ass paths that won't let you start a third party or whatever the fuck you wanna do. Dictators and their supporters tend not to like that shit.

By the way, dear disenchanted progressives and socialists, there is already a movement for change within the Democratic Party. The primary victories of Ayanna Pressley in Massachusetts and Andrew Gillum in Florida, not to mention Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York City, will transform the party in those areas. Florida? You got that. Fuckin' Florida will likely go progressive. That's how you do it. You fuckin' gut the house you're in and rebuild that shit from the inside. If it can be done in Florida, it can be done everywhere.

Inevitably, someone will bring up that I'm "vote shaming" them. First off, fuck that phrase. When you fat shame or kink shame or slut shame, you are condemning someone for something that doesn't affect you at all. You feel uncomfortable so you lash out like a child. But voting is an action that has a direct effect on millions of other people. I'm criticizing you as a fellow citizen. As an equal. As an adult whose decisions have consequences.

Fuckin' vote. Fuckin' vote like it might be the last time you get to vote. Fuckin' vote because you know, in your heart of hearts, that Trump is a goddamn plague. Fuckin' vote to get some sanity back in our federal government. Fuckin' vote because you can.

Note: I don't believe this is about a large group of people. But elections have been so close lately that all votes matter.

Last note: If you're just too lazy to vote, go fuck yourself.

(On Monday, I'll talk about having the right to abjectly despise people who vote for Trump-supporting Republicans.)