To Vote or Not to Vote…
Reasons to Stay Home On Midterm Election Day
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BY TIM MUNKEBY
Everyone is always talking about the importance of voting. Civic duty, every vote counts, you can’t complain if you don’t vote — you know the drill. So, as the 2018 midterm elections approach, why write another boring “get out the vote out” piece, right? Better yet, here’s my list of reasons NOT to vote:
* If you think things are grand in Washington D.C., just the way they are
* If you believe you’re able to trust your current congressperson to do the right thing
* If you think a divided America with people hating each other is overstated
* If you enjoy waking up to juvenile, angry, nasty, vindictive, hateful, dishonest Tweets every morning
* If you think “truth isn’t truth” and “alternative facts” are just as good as verifiable truth and actual facts
* If you think guys like Kim & Vladimir are better U.S. allies than guys like Justin & Emmanuel, and gals like Theresa & Angela
* If you travel and you’ve got good answers for people in other countries asking you, “What are you Americans thinking?”
* If you believe human beings have nothing to do with global warming
* If you think climate change is a political notion, not a scientific one
* If preserving our parks, lakes, rivers, oceans, the environment and the future of our planet isn’t a concern for you
* If you think voter suppression and gerrymandering are reasonable strategies for winning elections
* If you have a pre-existing health condition and you’re OK with your health coverage being taken away because of it
* If you think getting sick, losing all your savings and home, and being sucked into a black hole of debt because you couldn’t get or afford proper health care is something that only happens to “someone else”
* If you have a bushelful of thoughts and prayers for those shot in schools, places of worship, places of business, concerts, movie theaters, etc. but think further action is unnecessary
* If you’re fine with the current Congress’ inability/refusal to expand background checks on individuals seeking to purchase firearms
* If you want a few really rich people to become really richer, and for these same few folks to keep all of the country’s money and power in their hands
* If Social Security and Medicare get cut, that’s just fine by you
* If you’re a woman and don’t mind having your reproductive decisions decided for you, or your claims of sexual harassment, abuse and rape ignored and denied
* If you think marriage should, once again, only be between a man and a woman
* If the mere thought of transgender people simply existing in peace makes your blood boil
* If you think kneeling to protest African American discrimination ruins your football watching
* If you think those who wear white hoods, carry swastikas, wave Nazi flags, and beat, shoot and bomb people are “good people”
* If you refer to lynching black men, raping black women, attacking the LGBTQ+ community, discriminating against Muslims, preventing Latinos from entering the country and exterminating Jews as “the good ol’ days”
However, if the idea that nothing will change scares, concerns or angers you, you probably might not want to consider this “don’t vote” idea.
A confession: I raised my children in the country in the 1970s on a small farm alongside a river. We didn’t listen to the news or read the paper (well, the sports section), trying to live in peaceful oblivion. I could hardly vote as I was pleasantly unaware of who the candidates were and what party they belonged to and what bullshit (I thought) they were slinging.
I still live in the woods on a pristine lake in northern Minnesota, with a cabin for each of my children, sorta hiding out. But, now, it’s oblivion I’m worried about. Unfortunately, I fear many Americans are living in oblivion to avoid what’s happening now because it’s all so disturbing – the divisiveness, the hate, the deceit.
But I simply have to care. I’m worried about the future of my children and 12 grandchildren. I’m going to want them, as well as the rest of a unified America, to have accessible health care, good education, and an unpolluted, undestroyed planet.
As former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “When it’s better for everyone, it’s better for everyone.”
Tim Munkeby can be reached at www.timmunkeby.com
Tim Munkeby has written three books. His latest is Will and it raises, in a tongue-in cheek fictional format, many of the same issues as above. He’s also an advisory committee member of The Reporters Inc. You can read more about him here on our TEAM page.
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