Tuesday, August 23, 2016


Look, what Texas and other states are doing -- and have been doing for decades -- to undermine reproductive rights is shameful, despicable, disgusting (to use the Drumpfster's favorite word). There's no two ways about it, especially considering that the abortion rate has been steadily declining in this country for about twenty years now. There's just no reason for this nonsense, except that it inflames the rubes.

But this is an issue that affects poor women the most, by far, and so here is what I would ask those women:  Do you vote? More specifically, do you vote every time you can, even if a pet issue isn't on the ballot? Do you vote in the midterms? Because part of the reason so many of these fuckers are in office right now is because no one could be bothered to show up in 2010, or 2014. That's why you vote every time. That's why you follow the issues and the people, and pay attention.

I get that everyone's broke, and they have no free time. I'm in that boat as well. But I find the time, and the info is free. If you have time to watch reality teevee, you have time to plug in for an hour and see who the assholes are. I know voter ID laws suck, but I also know that even in Texas, a fucking utility bill will serve as ID, if for some goddamned reason you can't find twenty bucks to obtain a photo ID.

Everyone's got excuses for their bullshit, for their failure, for why the deck is stacked. Many times in life that's true, that there's a wave headed for the shore and all you can do is grab a board and hang on. But there are things that are in the control of most of us, and voting is one of them.

I don't know any other way to put it -- I don't really have any skin in the game on many of these "liberal" issues. I'm a middle-aged white guy, so I am not personally affected by gay issues, women's issues, black issues, what have you. They affect people I care about, but the people I know in those categories vote. The reason I take the time to learn about those issues and vote accordingly is because I care about the kind of world my kid inherits. But beyond that, nada.

So I'm baffled when I hear of people who are directly affected by these policy issues, who just find excuses for why they can't or don't vote, or even educate themselves enough to vote. If you have a smart phone, if you have a teevee, you have no fucking excuse for being uninformed, or for not voting. That's all there is to that.

It might seem that I'm going the usual route of becoming more conservative as one ages, but I don't think that's it. I remain idealistic about individuals, but deeply cynical about groups. That is the only sensible approach to take, afaic. Experience teaches us that pretty well, and repeatedly. But it's also given me a mental file that I half-jokingly refer to as "Shit That Turns People Republican." Everyone's seen the STTPR story somewhere along the line, there's one any given day.

I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir here when I say get off your ass and vote, but I think we can all fairly well intuit that if all interested and affected parties did so as well, we -- and they -- wouldn't be dealing with nearly as many of these little episodes. And if they're going to spend more time finding excuses than taking action, then I just don't know what to tell them. We all get that just as voting is ultimately an expression of hope, that not voting can be an expression of despair, of the acknowledgement that the system is rigged, futile, impermeable. But that's when it simply becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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