Now before you start with the same old crap arguments I’ve heard my whole life, let’s get something straight. The “every vote counts” and the “one vote doesn’t make a difference” arguments are both wrong so shut the hell up. If it was that simple for even a second there’d be NO political parties and happiness and equality would rain down on us like sun beams on a bright, sunny, 75F March Day in Texas.
Here’ what I think:
1) The closer a political office is physically to you the more your vote counts.
2) Gerrymandering, modern political party structure, and the 24/7 news cycle have removed the power of the vote for any of the highest offices in our nation.
So, your vote for your local committee member, sheriff or judge is important; real important! Do your homework! Learn what these offices do and how they affect you. How they are funded and who tells them what to do. Then try to pick candidates you think can be trusted with this power. Of course you have to pick from among those who want these jobs. But at the local level you have more power and your vote actually can make a difference. It really is a “vote”.
Unfortunately, somewhere around the state level (depending on the state) things fall down. By the federal level we seem to have a system that isn’t very accountable to us and it’s led by men and women who are controlled by fund raising parties on one side and lobbies on the other. It’s pretty much impossible for a man like me to relate to the mentality that accepts this reality as anything but bad. It’s a bad system.
But none of this is why I will not vote today.
I will not vote today because in Texas we have semi-open Primaries and I read the ballot.
The long and the short of it is I’ve always just voted in the Republican primary because those candidates have historically been closest to my opinions. Unfortunately, the two parties and their candidates look more and more like a reality TV show and less and less like government to me.
Still I should vote for my sheriff, constable, local judges etc. Just look at the words I wrote a couple paragraphs ago about how important it is. These people affect me.
But there’s the statement on the ballot:
“I am a Republican and understand…..”
F&^k that. If it said “I understand ….” I’d happily sign it and do by bit, but not this year. I can’t in good conscience let that document loose into the world. I’m not a republican.
The democrat ballot says the same thing “I am a Democrat and understand…” No way in Hell.
So, Norris, you’re going to avoid doing your duty and participating. You don’t get to complain.
I don’t? About a system that only counts my vote if I’m on one team or the other? No third option, no freedom to pursue political life liberty and happiness?
No. There isn’t.
Before I wrap up I’d like to point out one more thing about the ballots. I started reading the referendum items and noticed that the Democrat referendums are all generalized statements worded so you can’t disagree with them and seem rational: Should we fund schools? Should we help families? Should we reform immigration? Should we have a fair criminal justice system?
Who the Hell says no to those things? But what’s your plan Democrats? (This really isn’t the place to get into that so I’ll let it go)
The Republican Referendums were much, much worse. They read like a serial killer’s manifesto; no questions, just statements they assume everyone accepts. “should replace” “should be required” “should prohibit”. At least they include the “how’s” most of the time. “require voter approval to increase” “or be penalized by loss of state funds” Most of these things sound good to me but the tone makes me not trust the people using it. I’m also a little concerned about where they’re going with the 10th amendment thing. Using lawyeresque quotes that blend “the state” with “the people” always worry me.
Oh well. Take it for what it is: this round of f^%kery.