Election Day Nov. 2- Vote!

If you don’t vote, you can’t complain.

Sadly, Democrats don’t turn out often for mid-term elections. I admit it’s hard to whip up enthusiasm some years. Some electoral seasons I volunteer less, give less, care less. But I always vote. Always.

Voting is a sacred trust. The underpinning of civic discourse. We are the democracy. We are the government. It’s so easy to place blame, there are plenty of good reasons to be angry: Bush drained our coffers in Iraq and Afghanistan, and gave the rest in cuts and subsidies to the super-rich, creating even more hardship and struggle for the ever-diminishing middle class. Wall Street sucked on the neck of consumers willing to believe there was an easy credit shortcut to the American Dream of home ownership, swapping paper until it busted the economy. Then, once again, our tax dollars went to the rescue. BP spills oil in the Gulf, killing it essentially (which is a sin in my book, not just wrong), and no one can even figure out who to hold accountable because of the corporate shell game. Meanwhile Republican politicians, shills for the oil industry, beat the drum for more drilling everywhere to preserve the status quo, because the status quo serves them. If these are the policies most Americans want to see continued, then let it be because we walked ourselves over to our polling place and voted for them. Don’t let it be the default “back-to-the-future” consequences of just not mustering the energy or the sense of responsibility to do your part, to cast your vote.

The Democrats, for their part, can’t muster the arguments they need to defend health care reform, Wall St. reform, or any of the other accomplishments of their beleaguered season in the Congressional majority. The Democrats even delivered a tax cut to the middle class (within the stimulus bill)- the tax cut nobody knows about because the Democrats, inexplicably, haven’t been able to adequately defend their wins. And yes, I can say that I too am disappointed by the Democratic Party, especially the creaky old machine in my home town. So, I get it. It’s hard to be proud sometimes, and it’s so darned easy to be cynical and even easier to blame others because, you think, they have power and individuals, regular citizens, do not.

That feeling of powerlessness will never go away as long as you sit on the sidelines. Voting is the minimum amount of participation required from you, the citizen, to keep this democracy spinning. Empower yourself further by volunteering, if not for a candidate, then for a cause. Dare to care.

And here’s a video to remind you of all the reasons to be very afraid if you don’t go vote:

Comedian Jon Stewart rallied this past weekend to restore sanity to this country’s discourse, while Stephen Colbert argued it’s best to “keep fear alive”. Whatever gets you out of the house today, whether you’re motivated by sanity or fear, either way, just vote!

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