In 1966 comedian Jack Parr said “Don’t vote–it only encourages them.” Parr wasn’t the first to tell the joke, and while the humor still works, the reality is the reverse. We are no longer represented by our elected officials, and the more we don’t vote, the more they are encouraged to continue to ignore the electorate and simply obey their big money donors.
So we have to vote. It is the only chance we have to encourage them to pay attention to us rather than to big money. And it is far more important to vote in midterms and local elections than it is for president. At least, that is, if we want a democracy and not a dictator. And if you don’t vote tomorrow, then don’t complain about anything. Voting is our best tool to change things, even in races where we know the outcome. Higher turnout over time will make them pay attention to us. If both candidates are abhorrent, then write in someone you like. Write in yourself. But vote. If we want to live in a representative democracy, voting is the most important thing we can do. Not voting is exactly what they want us to do, and when you don’t vote, you’re conceding defeat without even fighting. If you have complained about anything in Washington, or your state, or your town, in the last two years, then if you ever want to complain again, you have to vote. Otherwise, you are simply part of the problem you were complaining about.
And because people have voted, we have, and can again, see amazing good change in short time (consider marriage rights, pot legalization, etc. We can do the same with things like guns, but only if we vote). See you at the polls tomorrow.