Monday, November 06, 2006

Why I'm not voting.

This election is important.

That's what they tell me.

Me, I don't believe it.

First, let me say to those who don't know me that I care about all the shit I'm supposed to care about. I've cared since 1964 when I went to a kid's convention as a Goldwater Republican. By 1968 I was Clean for Gene, but cautiously optimistic that Nixon meant what said about the war, even though at 18 I was old enough to get my ass drafted, but not old enough to vote.

In 1972, my first election as an eligible voter, and an angry veteran, I worked hard for McGovern. That Wednesday morning I awoke to a real nightmare, a landslide for Nixon. I felt like I'd been kicked in the balls. I swore I'd never do that again.

But I did. I cared, and I argued, and I learned history and policy and I got energized every election and do you have any fucking idea how hard it is to get excited about Walter Mondale?

Now, years have gone by and I've cast my vote in all but a tiny handful of elections. Unlike most Americans, I know my Congressional representative. I know his name. I know his record. I know votes he's cast that I've agreed with and votes that have pissed me off. Last year it was for the bankruptcy bill written largely by the credit card shysters. I wrote a letter and called his office to express my disappointment. It didn't matter. It's still law, and a lousy law at that.

So what am I going to do in protest? Vote Republican? I'd rather slam my pecker in the car door.

Now, here we are, with a chance to take the House and have subpeona power so we can finally find out just what the hell is going on over at that fuck-up factory they call the White House.

So why am I not voting?

It helps that my district is safely Democratic. But I don't think it matters. Because I don't think our votes count.

The touch screen machines, the voter suppression, the dirty tricks and ugly smears make me question why a supposedly smart man has wasted so much of his life, money and cranial real estate on politics.

You might as well vote on the weather. Yes, I'd like a nice warm day on Saturday, please, because I'm moving. No, you'll get cold fucking rain and like it.

Oh, you say, if I don't vote for the weather, I can't bitch about it?

The fuck I can't.

I'll still read and I'll still care and I'll still complain like the enlisted man I am and in the end I'll be just another old man yelling at the TV. Because our democratic republic is dead. The experiment was interesting, and lasted for a good long while as these things go. But we've lived through a quiet coup sponsored by people we can't see. We've become a banana republic and we can't even buy a decent banana.

That's what I believe.

So fuck them all. Every last one. I don't know who will win tomorrow, but I know who won't - you and me.

The game is rigged and only suckers play a game they can't win. They tell you that your vote counts just to keep you quiet and make you think you have some influence on things. You don't.

That's why, for the first time in my memory, I'm staying away from the polls. Let them find another rube. I'm tired.

Let someone else drive the old women to the polls. Let someone else walk the hinky neighborhoods trying to flush out that last Democrat who hasn't cast her vote. Let someone else write the checks and post the flyers and poll the neighbors and work the phone banks.

Because tomorrow night I'll do what I do every election. I'll get drunk and listen to Mick sing "You Can't Always Get What You Want." The only difference is, I won't have that "I Voted" sticker to throw away on Wednesday.

It's someone else's turn. I quit.


Anonymous said...

But you can't quit. Because then the terrorists have won.

But honestly, I know that Joe Lieberman will win tomorrow. I know that Ned Lamont doesn't have a fucking chance. But I'm going to vote for him and maybe, just maybe, Lieberman won't get a landslide victory. Maybe it'll be close enough so that next time he decides to be a sore loser he'll think twice.

And don't Walter Mondale me. I voted for John Anderson.

Beneath the Carolina Moon said...

For the first time in 37 years, I'm actually thinking of voting for a couple of Democrats. That's how fed up I am with the forked tongue lizards. But then there you go making me second guess myself. I'm thinking, well hell if the Democrats won't even vote for their own, why should I even consider it, even if I am fed fully up with the bull.

Ah what the hell, I could easier do another boring straight ticket lever and send another gay bashing gay Republican back into office. Whatever happens, by 7 AM when I arrive at the poll, I'll have decided one way or the other, and then I'll vote.

I'll vote, because I can and should.


JD Rhoades said...

Get out there and vote, ya big wuss. So it's not a perfect system? Under the current crop of Rethuglicans, it's gone from "imperfect" to "fucking nightmare."
Besides, voting is one of the things we do that distinguishes us from the animals.

Stephen Blackmoore said...

"Besides, voting is one of the things we do that distinguishes us from the animals."

I thought that was leafing through the Victoria's Secret catalog because mom threw out all the porn.

Some people may look at this and say, "Democracy has failed you."

I look at this and see OPPORTUNITY! Yes, the Great American Way! There's gotta be thousands of people like you, David. And every single one of them would likely sell their souls for a buck and a quarter.

So why not just buy votes? I mean, you know, directly. To hell with empty campaign promises and speeches on things that can't be delivered.

Let's put together the Honesty In Politics Ticket. Every vote gets a hundred bucks, or the equivalent in beer. What the hell is a slush fund for, anyway?

Unknown said...

In the words of Al Guthrie: "Vote, ya cunt."

Anonymous said...

You are not alone. Come to the docks at midnight for more. Punch and pie provided.

Anonymous said...

It's too late to stop me. I already voted! Show up tonight and have a drink and play loud!

Anonymous said...

We have a republic system so that one vote DOESN'T matter. It's not supposed to. One vote should not be able to swing an entire election. I'll spare you all the bullshit philosophies about the votes adding up up like sand in the hour glass or some such crap, but when it comes down to it, you're just lazy if you don't vote.

If you don't like any of the candidates on the ballot, do a write in. Waste your vote. But vote anyway. You don't have to put your whole heart into it and get all emotionally attached to it, but at least get your lazy ass out there and do the one thing you can.

For god's sake man, I'm sure you've faced much more rejection and heartbreak in publishing than you ever have in voting and you haven't totally given up writing yet, right?

Anonymous said...

Election? What election? I haven't seen anything on TV about it and that's where I get all my information. I mean, besides here...

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