Politics. I didn’t vote and Fuck no, I’m not sorry. 11-06-2014.

Something I want to confess: I didn’t vote in this election.

I watched all of the badges flash by on Facebook. Got all of the text messages from all of the Democratic groups, unions, NAACP, etc. and still, no, I didn’t vote.

I did not feel compelled at all to vote in this election.

Would you like to know why?

I no longer believe that Democracy works in this country.

The country has been gerrymandered so the House will not ever be able to truly represent the electorate. As for the Senate, the Democratic party fled from a President who has busted his ass to fix what he thought were the problems of this country. The DCCC didn’t advise its candidates or fully stand behind them. The second problem is that the President fixed a whole lot of stuff for his enemies and really did very little if anything for the folks who got him elected. There was no student loan reform. There was no immigration reform. All of the reforms to health care were great for the uninsured and the Middle class but didn’t touch two parts of the human body that are connected to the body and need care. Dental Care and Eye care. Why specifically dental care?  My youngest brother was put in the hospital by an infection in his heart tissue. The infection started in an abscessed tooth that had he had access to dental care, could have been prevented.

With all the efforts to bring us out of the Great Recession, neither party bothered protect rank and file employees. During the Recession, employers cut staff to the bone, cut back benefits and in some cases stopped matching contributions to 401K plans and created an atmosphere of fear. People work very hard and make a lot of sacrifices when they are afraid of losing their jobs. The problem is, companies have realized that fear as a corporate strategy is very effective indeed. Even though the economy has come back, employers are not hiring. Never bothered to say thank you for any of the sacrifices made to keep the companies afloat during the Recession. Companies are taking a lot of those cheap loans and instead of using them to grow businesses by increasing demand, and finding ways to offer new innovations to their customers, they are using that money to consolidate, buy companies, and lay off the redundancies caused by the acquisition. Companies are continuing to offshore jobs at an increasing rate and without any tax penalty at home. Companies are now finding reasons to offload the older and more expensive work-force and hiring lots of fresh out of school faces with zero experience, as most of the labor-intensive jobs are now being done in countries with lower or no labor standards, so most of what they believe they need here in corporate America in the US are people who are good at writing spam, manipulating data in Excel spreadsheets, and finding yet another reason to book another meeting on the calendar. They call it “collaboration” but what it really looks like is a corporate circle jerk, made spangly with shiny butterflies to chase, and a modulation each quarter made to look like people are innovating and working, but in reality they are mostly just wasting 8 hours a day while shopping online, counting the minutes to corporate-sanctioned “fun” (happy hours), and creating another crisis for the tiny section of the work force that keeps the company afloat.

Maybe the first thing both parties need to take a look at is this number: 34%

34% of the people in this country who were eligible to vote and went to the polls. The rest of us don’t believe our voice makes a difference. The rest of us do not believe that either party has our back. One party’s platform may be closer to my beliefs than the other, but neither of them were willing to fully support and work with our President, or listen to the American people, most of which haven’t seen any effect at all from this so-called recovery and now have to figure out how to pay for health insurance that doesn’t help pay for eyeglasses, cataract checks, contact lenses, or regular dental procedures. Or how to pay for everything else after working your butt off for zero thanks and the possibility of a raise that doesn’t exceed the true cost of living.

So in good conscience, I couldn’t vote for either party.

And I’ve voted in every single election and midterm since I turned 19.

So judge me if you like, but before you do, you need to realize something – I stand (or sit) with the majority of this country who frankly sees that the game is all bullshit. Until I see something that informs me that my time is valued and my voice will actually be heard, this year,  I could not be bothered with voting.

The money that Mitch McConnell and the rest of the shit-spewing gaggle of fools spent on their races could have put a huge number of people through college, paid for folks in poverty to have access to necessary chemotherapy, supported programs that could end the Ebola outbreak, and many other things, but instead, somehow in our minds, we see the spending of 2.3 Billion dollars on largely negative television ads as a good use of resources? Really?

Or it could have advertised products that we could have bought, creating demand in the economy and in turn creating jobs. But instead what did it buy?

Lots and lots and LOTS of fucking intolerable noise on our airwaves, in our newsfeed, in our email, and craploads of paper that in most cases didn’t get read and likely wound up in the waste baskets, as they printed it on slick paper and coated papers aren’t recycle-able.

I’ll vote in the next election. 2015. The one that counts. Why? The real power in this country gets elected in those tiny elections that most of us don’t bother with. Your day to day life is a lot more directly effected by City Council races, local elections boards,  local government races, local district judges and district attorneys, and voter referendums. I voted in a lot of those races over the years. I actually research the local candidates.  I am an informed voter, but this year the information I got told me that nobody needed or really wanted my vote.

What I would also like to see is a REAL NATIONAL LIBERAL party in this country. The Democratic Party, led in most part by DCCC folks (all Corporatist and chasing Corporate donations), has been so busy tacking to what they see as the center that they’ve completely lost track of those of us out on the Left side of the spectrum who thought ObamaCare was bullshit, and what was really needed was to drop the eligible age of Medicare down to one day after birth, who think that corporations who do business in this country, regardless of where they book their sales, should pay taxes without loopholes or deductions or the ability to offshore revenue. You sell shit here. You pay taxes. End of discussion.

If you are using resources that belong to all of us (Air, Water, Oil – yes Oil. Its under the soil of a planet that belongs to all of us, so we own some of that too and should be paid for the rights, like they do in Alaska. Yep. Alaskans get a check. Why don’t the rest of us?), companies should be paying taxes to all of us. You pollute the water, you pay. You pollute the air, you pay. Those resources are limited, so when you use resources and charge your customers for them, we should get something back for that use.

So no, I didn’t vote. No, I didn’t get a cool sticker that indicates that I believe in this Democracy, because if I did, I could not wear it with pride. I don’t begrudge anyone else who has the optimism to believe in the grand experiment. More power to them.

As for me, my faith has lapsed.

I’ve watched too many unarmed Black men get shot. I’ve watched too many people claiming that we need to make it harder to vote because of non-existent voter fraud. Too many cases of women and men getting raped on Campus, Getting Raped in the Military and people unwilling to stop blaming women and men for being victims and begin to take  a look at what it is about our culture that sees sex as a commodity and not as a precious gift to be received gratefully only if the gift is given willingly. I’ve watched Gay Marriage get pushed as the agenda when what we really need to be fighting for is the ability to not be fired from your job for being Gay, which in this country can still happen in most of the states across the country. And likely will happen more as Gay Marriage takes hold across the country, and Socially Conservative CEOs decide that they have no interest or inclination in paying spousal benefits to THOSE people. Keep watch over the folks in your life who are single, over 40, and have no kids. Companies will see us as liabilities with a potential hidden expense in a spouse if no protections are put in place to protect us, because they’ll assume we are part of the LGBT community that has not come out. Yet.

The unanswerable questions and demands will start from your bosses shortly and you’ll be made to look old, slow and incompetent.

Maybe I’ll get angry enough again to care as I watch our country slowly circle the drain and the Republicans continue to shake their tiny old rich White fists and try to hoodwink a few  more poor old White folks in the belief that stealing from the poor and the middle classes to reward the rich for their lack of morals that allows them to sell their brethren down the river for a nickel. While the Democrats continue to drift further and further toward the Right, running desperately in fear of any of their own accomplishments, chasing corporate dollars and ignoring the needs of the people they claim to represent. And while words like Socialist and Communist are vilified and bandied about with horror, but the ideals behind them might be what’s needed as a counter-balance to the Fascist meanderings of the extreme Right-Wing-Tea-Party-Social Conservative-Bigoted-Useful Tools Dragging Their Semi-Automatic-look-alike-guns around Walmart.

But for now, I’ll just be over here fuming in the corner and trying to avoid the news cycle and the pretty red white and blue stickers.

About gojohnego

Avid foodie and kitchen tinkerer, artist, news junky and political wonk, musician, blogger, naturist, dog-daddy, and owner of a kinky play-space. ...and did I mention I'm single ;)
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2 Responses to Politics. I didn’t vote and Fuck no, I’m not sorry. 11-06-2014.

  1. You’ve given the corporations and their elected marionettes exactly what they wanted, a disconnected electorate that gives them free reign. The only alternative to democracy is violent revolution and the massacres which accompany them. It’s not simple, but it works if We The People take our proper role as the bosses.

    • gojohnego says:

      There are many alternatives to the form of Democracy we have here in the US which is driven by two versions of corporatocracy both determined to take our money and neither determined to give regular folks a voice. There are rare exceptions on both sides. Protest and people’s lobbies can be effective alternatives to our current choices of “Red” or “Blue.” The only real difference my vote made in 26 years of voting in every election is now we have a Black President who sided with the banks and Wall Street and against protecting common folks from the encroachments and victimization from our employers.

      Also, if you read the blog in its entirety, you’d see I’m not disengaged as I’m aware of the issues, and I intend to vote in the next election cycle.

      So, maybe what you should do is what I said in the blog. Find some of those folks in the 60% who didn’t vote and ask THEM why, then see what you can do with our current set of politicians to engage them.

      I’m engaged. I just wanted to sit this one out. Attempting to convince me I was wrong to do so now that the election is over assumes that in some way you know what’s good for me, or that I need to be chastised for making an informed decision to sit this one out.

      I find your assumption offensive.

      Go preach to someone else.

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