Opinion: If You Don’t Vote For One of My Bad Candidates, You Don’t Get to Complain

Columbus, Ohio:

Hello, it’s me, your liberal friend Stav. I haven’t said, let alone done, anything publicly about politics since January 2017, even though a lot of really terrible things have been happening. You know how it is, I’ve been busy. With stuff.

But that’s okay that I haven’t said or done anything this whole time, because I’m here *now* to tell you (yes you) that you better vote! That’s right, not voting in this election is complicity in all the bad things that are happening. I don’t even care who you vote for, I just need to know that you are voting, because that’s the only form of civic participation that really matters! After this election, regardless of outcome, I’ll be sure to let you know that if you don’t vote, you don’t get to complain! This is the most important election to date, so I’m down to guilt trip you over this regardless as to who you are. But to be clear, if the Republicans win, it’s your fault and you deserve all the bad shit that happens. Vote, vote, vote, vote, vote!

Okay, fine… I’ll be honest with you. I guess I do ….kind of care who you vote for…. I was hoping you would vote for all these democrats who are running!  As in, vote for all of them, regardless of whether they actually discuss or care about the issues that affect you. If you dare critique any of their lukewarm stances (or their lukewarm/ outright poor performance in office, mind you), or admit that half of them aren’t that much different than Republicans publicly, you’ll be sabotaging their ability to win! So, we don’t have time for your criticisms now. Just like we haven’t had the time the last round of elections, or the elections before that. Shh.

Okay I mean, fine.  I guess if you push me, I’ll agree that it kind of sucks that democrats voted en masse to pass the $696.5 billion defense bill this year in Congress (it’s not like this is a $100 billion increase or anything). And like, it kind of sucks that Democrats like Danny O’ Connor appear to care more about appealing to “moderate” Republicans than they actually care about the needs of working people. Among many other things, like the democrats’ tendency to sell out on things like reproductive rights, and their overwhelming ties to the corporate class. I guess that’s kind of bad, probably. But like, right now, we’re not going to talk about that. Or voter suppression, or lack of accessibility to voting, or whether voting-based politics should even be considered all that important in comparison to other ways we can participate in politics. Or how much the electoral college sucks. Please just vote omg.

If you only like skimmed this, that’s okay because I’ll be calling you and emailing you later today about this to make sure you voted. It may be that I’m doing this because I need to know I have some sort of higher moral standing because I care more about voting than you, but I don’t feel like analyzing that part of my psyche right now. Or ever. Have a good one, and vote for my bad candidates or you’ll be dead to me! Talk to you again about this in 2020, where I’ll tell you to do the same thing after not participating publicly in politics for two years yet again. In short, if you don’t vote for one of my bad candidates, you don’t get to complain.

Love, Stav

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