Literature

Did You Vote in the Midterm Elections? (A Ballot)

 Photo Credit: theglobalpanorama.Licensed CC-BY-SA.
Photo Credit: theglobalpanorama.
Licensed CC-BY-SA.

Directions: Draw a single line in black ink next to your answer/sub-answer:

Of course you did.

  • Hell, you were a Poli Sci major; it was tedious stuff, yet you had to grasp the gist of how power and decisions controlling societies occurred. Democracy is not for spectators–you can’t criticize the state of affairs, or affairs of state, if you don’t participate. If you don’t act towards solutions to our unstable economy and society, so destructively skewed in favor of only 1% of the citizenry, everything you love–wilderness, birds, clean food, clean anything–is further jeopardized; you contribute to your own demise and the desperation of fellow Americans, well, North Americans–then again, the growing insanity in the U.S. has already had terrible impacts around the globe.

I’m kidding, right?

  • You diligently attempted to research all those candidates for house, senate, judgeships, utility commissions, etc. in the presidential election cycle. Gave it a shot this time, too–ballot papers spread out on the kitchen table with take-out teriyaki and a beer while you searched on your tablet. But the websites and articles and tables of figures led you deep down the rabbit hole, never answering your basic questions about what a candidate stood for (at least in relation to his or her opponents). So you couldn’t vote, not in any informed way; uninformed voting is worse. You’re smart. Trying to vote made you feel pretty stupid. You ran the dog an extra mile.
  • Why would you spend the required hours on internet research trying to comprehend the true intentions of those names on the ballot, when a regular person’s vote doesn’t count anymore? All candidates are beholden to special interests, or they couldn’t afford to run in the first placeeven your school board candidates now have deep-pocket affiliations! At work, you’ve been powerless to fix the horrors of privatizing hospitals and prisons. With activist judges and money equaling free speech (what an oxymoron!), democracy has been obliterated. While you hope that activist experts can set things right, your time is better spent minimizing damage to your patients.
  • Your spouse, who was “downsized” last year, juggles project work and still hasn’t found an appropriate new position so you’re now temping; her dad in Idaho just had a serious stroke; your mother’s accelerated dementia now requires you to find and move her to a full-care facility before the end of the month, empty her house of 51 years and get it on the market–by yourself, because your brothers have gone AWOL. All of this has upset your kids, who can’t focus on schoolwork without more help than usual. None of you eat or sleep very well anymore. This was only the mid-terms anyway. You used to vote, back when it, and life, were simpler.

Of course you did.

  • You vote all year, every year. That people think they can fill out a ballot once in awhile and have a say is crazy. You have to pay to play, and you intend to play, with the best toys and on the most powerful team, for the rest of your life. And set your children and grandchildren up to win…The reality is that not everyone is a winner, and propping up losersnot a PC term but it’s honestwith social aid programs only creates more of them dragging society down. To those who ask if you want to live in a world without art and decent public education you say, Those determined to succeed always land on their feet. They work smart, they get agents. You’ve found great tutors for your kids; as for art, don’t you buy much of what your gallery connections advise, even if it’s weird?