20
Oct
14

An Open Letter to Democrats

If you have the time to go out to a club on a weekend, you have the time to vote.

If you have the time to parse the intricacies of your NFL fantasy football league, you have the time to vote.

If you have the time to drink a freshly poured craft beer, you have the time to vote.

If you have the time to play six hours of games on your Xbox One, you have the time to vote AND volunteer.

Voting is both a right and a privilege.

It is a right because those who came before you fought and died to continually expand the franchise. African Americans in the South couldn’t vote before 1964. Women couldn’t vote before 1920. Universal suffrage was gained by long, incremental struggle. It was not handed on a silver platter, fully formed out of the Founders’ heads like Athena from Zeus.

Voting is a privilege because it is a privilege to be a citizen of the world’s last remaining superpower. It is a privilege because as a mere citizen you have the power to decide your fate. If you eschew voting, to paraphrase Plato, you hand that power over to your inferiors, or at the very least to people who don’t see the world in the same way you do.

If you don’t have time to vote, it means you don’t have time to be a citizen. There are millions around the world who would scrape and claw to earn the sobriquet “United States citizen”. Perhaps you could give up your place on the boat to one of them.

If you don’t have time to vote, it means that you are completely disconnected from anything not impacting you at the most personal level. Of course, by not voting, you are guaranteeing that things with which you may not agree will impact you, very closely and very personally.

Do you want to ensure that women have safe and legal access to abortion? By not voting you are ensuring that abortion rights will be increasingly restricted and, perhaps, eventually done away with.

Do you want to redress the income disparity between the very rich and the rest of the commonwealth? By not voting you are ensuring power to a party whose main purpose is to enrich the rich, and burden the rest of the populace with the costs of those tax breaks and giveaways.

Do you want to make sure that every citizen, regardless of race, gender, religion, or sexual identity is treated as an honored member of the nation? Then by not voting you are handing power to a party which has been seized by the most reactionary elements of the country, who see anyone different from them as a threat to their existence.

Voting is more important than the Giants-Cowboys game. Voting is more important than the Chelsea-Manchester United match. Voting is more important than any pastime or entertainment in which you can engage.

Voting is the signifier that you care about something other than yourself. Voting is the signifier that you are a member of a broader society. Voting is the signifier that you take part in your own governance, rather than allowing history to wash over you. Voting is the signifier that you are an actor, not a victim.

Not everyone has the time to make get out the vote calls. Not everyone has the money to donate to political campaigns. But everyone has the time to vote. Everyone has the ability to mail in a voting ballot. Everyone has the time to, for one day, get home late and make a choice.

Vote. Because it’ll piss off a Republican, and because somebody else will.

 


87 Responses to “An Open Letter to Democrats”


  1. October 20, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    LL, thanks a trabillion for this. I have just wasted the last 90 minutes, plus added time and half-time, of my life watching United being CRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAP against West Brom.

    I friggin’ hate football.

  2. 11 JER
    October 20, 2014 at 5:15 pm

  3. 13 Nena20409
    October 20, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    LL, great piece.
    If one claims to love our system of government and cares about how well it functions, then, active citizenry participation is essential…..short of that, is abdication of one’s Civic Duties.

    Those who don’t Vote, can’t shape the outcome and can’t make our Democracy work for all.

    Congrats Chips on your Gold ⭐

  4. 15 Nena20409
    October 20, 2014 at 5:22 pm

  5. 17 Nena20409
    October 20, 2014 at 5:26 pm

  6. 18 Nena20409
    October 20, 2014 at 5:28 pm

  7. October 20, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    FLOTUS will be campaigning for Bruce Braley in Iowa Tuesday and in Minnesota for Sen. Franken and Gov. Dayton. And in Colorado Thursday to campaign for Sen. Udall.

  8. 20 57andfemale
    October 20, 2014 at 5:37 pm

  9. 21 Nena20409
    October 20, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    Crumbling, Tumbling……down…….

    http://www.mediabistro.com/tvnewser/sunday-show-ratings-october-12_b242682

    The numbers for October 12:

    Network Program Total Viewers A25-54
    CBS
    “Face the Nation” 3.53M 904,000
    ABC
    “This Week” 2.81M 809,000
    NBC “Meet the Press” 2.48M 619,000
    FOX “Fox News Sunday” 1.15M 447,000
    UNIV “Al Punto” 1.05M 501,000

    NBC’s “Meet the Press” was down the most: -19% in viewers and down -30% in the demo vs. the same Sunday last year which was the midst of the government shutdown.

    😆 🙄 😆

  10. October 20, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    “Voting is more important than the Chelsea-Manchester United match.”

    Hmm……. not sure.

  11. October 20, 2014 at 5:55 pm

  12. October 20, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    Still very very close. Why DSCC pulled out is mind boggling.

    • 45 Nena20409
      October 20, 2014 at 6:43 pm

      They did boost her ground game money. Right now, making sure folks get to the polls is what is more than needed. TV ads are pretty much over saturated by now.

    • 46 forus50
      October 20, 2014 at 8:41 pm

      The DSCC didn’t pull out.

  13. October 20, 2014 at 6:08 pm

  14. October 20, 2014 at 6:12 pm

  15. October 20, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    But it’s not a democrat and has zero ties to obama so never mind 😳

  16. 50 JER
    October 20, 2014 at 6:23 pm

  17. 51 JER
    October 20, 2014 at 6:24 pm

  18. 52 JER
    October 20, 2014 at 6:25 pm

  19. 53 JER
    October 20, 2014 at 6:25 pm

  20. October 20, 2014 at 6:27 pm

  21. October 20, 2014 at 6:30 pm

  22. October 20, 2014 at 6:42 pm

  23. October 20, 2014 at 6:44 pm

  24. 61 Nena20409
    October 20, 2014 at 6:45 pm

  25. 62 0388jojothecat
    October 20, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    This for our very own….LL

  26. 65 Nena20409
    October 20, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    In 2008, I almost rolled over trying not to collide with them things.

  27. 66 dotster3
    October 20, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    Thanks LL. Too many people fail to realize how much voting/not voting affects their lives, especially now. Just from a personal perspective, I believe that I have always automatically voted in every kind of election because my parents always voted in every kind of election. It was just something that you did, like go to school and know the words to the national anthem. And I think it’s important for those who didn’t have parents that always voted to be role models for their families and future generations by always voting, no matter what.

  28. 67 Nena20409
    October 20, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    I have nothing nice to say…..so, I will just post the link and sit this one out……MN Dist 6th…..Bachmann, No legislative accomplishment to write home about. Oh well.

    • October 20, 2014 at 7:01 pm

      Nena, I am speechless but glad that Bachmann lives in a country where you can be as wacko as a wackobird and still be treated decently.

      I am pretty sure that the threat is based on words she utters loosely.

  29. 69 Nena20409
    October 20, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    This guy is just a prick….at times…..pardon me.

    NY has just about every ethnicity, as diverse as they come and he has Nothing to say?

    • October 20, 2014 at 7:03 pm

      Nena, this made me laugh.

      Cuomo is playing it safe. All he is thinking is 2016. He is not going to say anything about anything that can be used against him.

    • 71 Dudette
      October 20, 2014 at 7:39 pm

      I’m with you Nena. That was a dumb response. At the very least he should say that we should trust the experts to do their jobs, remind people there’s no “outbreak” in the US and not to play into fears. He’s the Governor of New York, for crying out loud! IDIOT! Ugh!

  30. 72 JER
    October 20, 2014 at 6:56 pm

  31. 73 Nena20409
    October 20, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    He wanted Kids from 3/4 Central America to be sent home.

    Now Karma came calling and Now, a resignation 😉

  32. 76 Nena20409
    October 20, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    Grimes can still win this…..KY is begging to throw the Turtle out….C’mon Ms Grimes, get it done.

    • 77 donna dem 4 obama
      October 20, 2014 at 7:07 pm

      I just wish she hadn’t turned off the AA voters down there. She needed the white women vote but I’m afraid she has sacrificed one for the other. We will see. It’s amazing that she is this close and hopefully she will pull it out.

    • 78 Dudette
      October 20, 2014 at 7:46 pm

  33. 79 donna dem 4 obama
    October 20, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    “Not everyone has the time to make get out the vote calls. Not everyone has the money to donate to political campaigns. But everyone has the time to vote. Everyone has the ability to mail in a voting ballot. Everyone has the time to, for one day, get home late and make a choice.”

    LL this is a fantastic essay.

  34. 81 Nena20409
    October 20, 2014 at 7:07 pm

  35. October 20, 2014 at 7:14 pm

  36. 84 JER
    October 20, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    PresidentObama boards Air Force One for Washington.

    @jeffmason1

  37. October 20, 2014 at 7:19 pm

  38. 86 Nena20409
    October 20, 2014 at 7:24 pm


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