This Land Is Your Land

Polling Place

The honest truth is that pretty much every race in this year’s election is more or less predetermined where I live, from US Senator down to the local school board. You can blame the fact that Jersey is still a strong blue state (in spite of our governor), as well as strong gerrymandering for that. I’m sure it’s the forgone conclusion nature of so many elections that will keep a lot of people home and not voting in this election. That, or general apathy over the fact that our government in Washington is hopelessly gridlocked (it’s hard to have a working government when one side has decided that its only prerogative is to destroy the other side because the black man is president).

Still, I have a strong civic pride in the whole voting thing. I’ve voted in every general election since 2000. Not necessarily because I thought my one vote was going to swing a race or impact the world in some great way, but because it’s the thing to do. I think that we Americans, of all political stripes, really do take our political freedoms for granted. We may not always like the people we’re asked to vote for (and trust me, there’s plenty wrong with both sides), but we’re the last word in putting and keeping them in power. And maybe, one day, enough of us will be able to band together and fix some of the problems in the fucking system (like getting all the money out of the elections).

I guess what I’m trying to say is that even when you’re stacked with somewhat shitty candidates and races that you can’t get excited about, voting still fucking matters. You’re a goddamned American and this your goddamned civic duty. If you’re not getting out there and voting each and every year, maybe you need to stop and ask yourself what you’re doing calling yourself a member of the stars and stripes nation.

Get out and vote. If you don’t know where to go, this website will help you out. Just plug in your address. I’m not going to tell you who to vote for or talk about who I’m voting for. Vote your conscience. Vote your ideals. Vote your pragmatism. Whatever it is, just fucking vote, okay?

Photo Credit: stephenvelasco on Flickr released under a cc by-nc 2.0 license.