If you live in a state that has early voting and you already voted; thank you! If you haven’t voted this is particularly for you. If you already voted please continue reading; today’s article may provide you with a compelling argument to convince someone else to show up at the polls tomorrow.
Starting with the Revolutionary War people died so that we could vote. One of the principle rally cries of that campaign was, “Taxation without representation is tyranny!” If you choose not to vote you are imposing tyranny upon yourself. Everyone in America pays taxes. You say you don’t make enough to pay income tax and you rent so you don’t pay property tax. You still pay taxes every time you purchase most goods or services. There are also a plethora of fees that are really taxes by another name. As to property taxes where do you think your landlord gets the money from to pay the property taxes on the place you live if not from your rent payments? If the government is going to take your money via taxes don’t you want a say in how it is spent? Voting is often your most powerful voice.
My next plea is aimed specifically at the Bernie Sanders supporters who are still disgruntled and are thinking of sitting this one out. Senator Sanders had a tremendous effect on both the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton. Large portions of his platform have been incorporated in Hillary’s. That didn’t happen by accident! It happened because of his efforts and your support. Don’t leave the “job site” with the “task” unfinished. You didn’t get everything you wanted but with Clinton you have a shot, with Donald Trump you wasted your time and efforts; in fact you will go backwards. As an important aside, if the Democrats take back control of the Senate Sanders will become the Chairman of the powerful Senate Budget Committee.
Next I want to reach out to young voters. Young people tend not to vote. This is not an indictment of this current batch; it’s been happening for decades and generations. Regardless of Party politicians for the most part respond to two things: votes and money. Young people generally don’t have a lot of money but they can organize into voting blocs rather easily and few politicians can ignore large blocs of voters.
Republicans have been aggressively targeting certain groups especially non-Caucasians, young people (females in particular) and college students in an effort to make it more difficult for them to vote. They are afraid of you and your vote. They would rather cheat you out of voting than address your concerns. They are beholden to their financiers, not their constituents. You need to get angry and get even by voting!
Now I want to address the temptation to cast a message vote. Simply, this is not the time and too much is at stake! I am absolutely certain that only Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have a chance of winning. A vote for anyone else is simply a wasted effort that will fall on deaf ears. Think in terms of who you would vote for in a two-way race and cast your ballot accordingly. You should have a clear preference between the two. A vote for someone else could help enable the person you really didn’t want to win by siphoning enough votes away from their opponent.
Here are the two best descriptions of Donald Trump that I have heard. Some months ago Bill Maher called Trump (who he personally knows and likes) a, “Bullshit artist.” Anna Marie Cox said, “He is the jerk you think he is.” When you couple Trump’s history and the little bit he has revealed about his economic plans he is Mitt Romney’s worst economic sins on steroids!
There has always been too much focus on the top slot. There is a plethora of down ballot races of importance! I have voted in three states (New York, Florida and North Carolina) and there is a big difference whether you live in a swing state or not. New York is going Democratic for the presidency and a small number of votes will not change that statewide outcome. Florida and North Carolina could go either way tomorrow night. That should not affect your decision about getting off the couch. Even if you live in a solid red or blue state there are still many important down ballot races where a small number of votes may decide a race. Get a sample ballot, study it and leave as few contests blank as possible. Vote against candidates if necessary; by my theory most Americans do anyway.
To me Trump is unacceptable and dangerous. A vote for him is an irresponsible act. Perhaps Hillary should have given us more than: I’m not Trump and (to Democrats in the primary) I can win. However she is sane, stable and qualified; it is a stretch (at best) to assign any of those attributes to the Republican nominee.
To me voting is not a choice it is an obligation. A few weeks ago Dr. Paul Krugman put it well in a New York Times op-ed when he said: “Your vote only counts if you cast it in a meaningful way.” I’m not asking you to fall in love with a candidate; I’m asking you to show your love for your country, your planet and your fellow man – very much including my six grandchildren; as President Obama might say, “C’mon man!”
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