I’m not sure who ever told y’all that voting was meant to be a soothing salve for your soul, or some high-minded, philosophically untouchable measure of self satisfaction. It seems like everyone’s been viewing voting as if it should be some amazingbeautifulsoulfilling experience; that we should get Stendhal Syndrome every time we pull a lever or fill in a fucking Scantron because we MUST be able to vote for the perfect candidate who says everything and does everything right, right? Or maybe it’s because we somehow think that those we vote for should already be doing the right thing, without us making them do it first?
Does it make it somehow less important that I tell you it’s actually a really ugly fucking hammer? A blunt, simple tool meant to accomplish one small facet of building something? One small step on the way to a larger goal? That’s it, y’all. It’s a tool. And using that tool? It’s fucking strategy, people. I know you want to vote for the perfect candidate who totally represents each person’s every soft and cuddly need, but you know that’s bullshit pie-in-the-sky childish wishfulness, right?
Look, we all know that both parties are out for power and money. Individual politicians, with few exceptions, are in the same boat. They’re flawed humans, in flawed parties that represent a whole lotta interests and people (mostly the ones with the money to get them re-elected, and that’s a whole ‘nother issue I could rant about for days), usually clumsily and badly, without a whole lot of direction from anyone EXCEPT the people with the money.
But there are those that can be pushed and threatened by their constituency, and there are those that care more about maintaining ideological purity regardless of its effect on their constituents. There are those that will obstinately refuse to be swayed from their ideological perches, or the perches handed to them along with those campaign checks, and want to make sure that those of us working at the grassroots hit a brick wall. And there are those that can be swayed and pushed by that grassroots if we’re loud enough. And even if the ONLY reason they’re swayed is by a fear of losing power, I don’t give a fuck. It’s strategy, people. It’s tactics. It’s not pretty, but deal with it.
You’re not making some grand stand by offering some pedantic assessment that “they’re all alike”. We got that. Ground level, we know this. Done. Accepted. Move on to what you can do. By measuring the worth of your actions by the most reductionist metrics EVER, instead of actually, I dunno, doing your homework and understanding the difference between Federal and State legislatures, reading ACTUAL policies (both proposed and passed), and taking a good hard look at the ideological CHASM that has gotten wide enough to drive a fucking double-wide trailer through, you’re not only way off the mark, but you’re sounding like a broken record that’s only got one note to play over and over again. Measuring the worth of your vote as somehow being a tacit acceptance of ALL of one person’s stances is a TERRIBLE metric. No wonder people get all bent about it. Realize that it is simply a tool to put in place the asshole that’s the most movable object able to be pushed by the unstoppable force of grassroots action. And then get off your ass and make that shit happen too.
I’m so sick of people acting like spoiled little bitches because change doesn’t happen overnight. Especially if you’re feeling burned because you put your trust in a political candidate, that was your mistake for not knowing the rules of the game. It’s never been politicians that made true change happen. It’s always been people fighting like hell for a really fucking long time that has made change happen. The key here is making sure you have people in place who will actually listen, even if out of their own self interest. If the guy in office locks you out entirely, it cuts off more strategic avenues. And if y’all haven’t noticed, it’s the last few minutes of the game, and we’re fucking LOSING.
Voting isn’t, nor should it be, the only tactic we have, but it’s certainly one of them. Why the fuck would we not use every tool we have available? “I’m not using this hammer because I don’t like the nails I’ve been given. I’ll just sit on my ass and gripe about how the walls are falling down because I didn’t bother to build the frame.” And yanno, when one party is doing everything in their power to keep people from voting, then maybe you shouldn’t fucking do their job for them, eh? Realize that THEY know this is about strategy, and they’re using every tool they’ve got, and workin’ it way better than you.
For serious, stop being a bunch of whiny fucking babies because you can’t make a vote that makes your soul feel all fuckin’ shiny and full of butterflies. Vote for the asshole that’s gonna do the least damage and be less of an obstacle, and then push and fight and scream and work like hell to get them to do better.
No one has ever changed anything by stubbornly insisting that doing nothing was somehow doing something. It’s not. It’s laying your weapons down and exposing your belly. And if that’s all you got, go hide in a cave somewhere and get the fuck out of my way while I get some shit done.