To Vote or Not to Vote – There Really is No Question There

Dear Friends, Family, and Strangers,

Every election is important. There always seems to be a dire air surrounding the outcome of any election. One candidate will lead us to the Promised Land; a golden age of economic, social, and political prosperity. The other candidate will invariably lead to the eventual collapse of America and democracy as we know it. This election cycle is no different. There is much at stake. However, more than ever a growing majority of apathetic voters are recusing themselves from the electoral cycle and proudly proclaiming that they are not voting. Here is my response to my friends, family, and random strangers I have never met who are actively choosing to not vote in this upcoming election.

You are not an individual. You may be exercising your individual free will by not voting but that action does not make you an individual. You are not a rebel, you’re not unique, and are certainly not above it all. I’m sorry that you feel that the government and political system is so corruptible and beyond repair that are you simply going to wash your hands of it. I’m sorry that even though you believe the government to be a hot mess and not worthy of your civic participation, you still expect the government to continue operating on your behalf. I’m sorry that you feel the need to complain about everything wrong with the system and yet feel no need to enact change and make it better.

I’m sorry that you do not have the time and impetus to educate yourself on the candidates – local, state, and federal – and the issues they advocate for or against. I’m sorry that you feel that certain issues – whether they be gay marriage, birth control, the Dream Act, and/or health care – are not important because they do not personally impact you. I’m sorry to tell you, that they do, whether you can see it or not. 

I’m sorry that you do not have the time to vote. In the age of twitter feeds, instagramming photos of your meals and viral YouTube videos that you must show all your friends, you do not have the five minutes it takes to register to vote. I’m sorry that honoring those individuals that tirelessly and valiantly fought for the right to vote so everyone’s voice could be heard is too much of an inconvenience. I am also sorry that the ability to vote early or via absentee ballot is not enough to mitigate the inconvenience of standing in line at the polls.      

You are not throwing away your vote by casting a ballot for the green, libertarian, or any other 3rd party. You throw away your vote when you disvalue the worth of your vote and choose to not vote at all. You won’t win them all; your candidate will not always come out on top. It’s a disheartening day when you learn that your candidate didn’t secure the victory or your party didn’t gain the majority in Congress. However, it’s no excuse to complain endlessly about how American is now doomed and will spiral downward into chaos and fiscal irresponsibility. It’s no excuse to inundate your friends and family with threats of defecting to Canada if your party loses – because lord knows Canada doesn’t have its own problems. The President, no matter what party they hail from, is still your President and therefore there to advocate for and be accountable to all citizens.     

Perhaps if we spent less time vilifying other parties and their candidates we would notice that said candidates have scarcely discussed the issues that mean so much to us. Perhaps if we pressed our candidates for more concrete solutions and articulated plans for the future they would be less inclined to devote their time to smearing the name of the other candidate. Instead, we occupy our energies and time with birth certificates, tax records, and the “he said, she said” of politics. We get distracted in the high school student council parade that politics has become and forget that these individuals will make important decisions that impact our daily lives.

So in the end, I don’t care who you vote for. I don’t care what party you choose to affiliate yourself with. I do not care if you choose a candidate from the list provided or write in a name. I do care if you vote. I care that you take a stand for something, whether I personally agree with it or not. I care that you take part in bettering America even if your answers to how to achieve that differ from my own. So care during this upcoming election as opposed to withdrawing into a disillusioned state of jadedness. Take the time, register, and vote.      

Sincerly,                                                                                

  Christopher Daniels                                                          

Concerned activist, educator, ginger, and voter.

Post written by Christopher Daniels. Christopher Daniels has actively been involved in the LGBTQ community for the past twelve years, majoring in Psychology, Women’s Studies, and LGBT Studies at the University of Wisconsin Madison. Currently, Christopher works as a Community Educator in Reno, NV and is a firm supporter of social equity and true social justice for underrepresented communities and populations.

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About humptrain

Humptrain is a progressive and inclusive sexual health radio show - answering all of your sexual questions and queries about sex, sexual health, identity, relationships, and of course, pleasure, because here at Humptrain, we believe pleasure is of equal importance to a healthy sexual lifestyle. Pilot episode - In this episode we introduce our hosts: sexual health advocate and radio personality, Jessica The-Jester Levity (University of Wisconsin, 2008; BA: Philosophy, Sociology, Gender/Sexuality Studies), and Christopher Daniels, sexual health educator for Planned Parenthood and drag queen extraordinaire (University of Wisconsin, 2008; BA: Psychology, Women's Studies, Gender/Sexuality Studies). Our hosts also dive into live callers with questions about: "How do I communicate what I like to my partner?" "Does my penis curve from too much masturbation?" And, "As a woman who's never achieved an orgasm, what can I do?" They also answer emails from a gay teenage boy in a closeted and emotionally-closed relationship, as well as a divorcee trying to get back into the dating game. The show also features two talk show segments: The Low Down, which, in this episode, focuses on The Personhood Amendment; and, The Quickie, which, this time, is a lesson about condoms. Live callers were taken during the time of the recording, but questions can be emailed throughout the week at humptrain@gmail.com. ENJOY!
This entry was posted in Birth Control, Gay Marriage, Legislation, LGBTQ....LMNOPXYZ., Nevada, Social Justice and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

48 Responses to To Vote or Not to Vote – There Really is No Question There

  1. Reblogged this on Oscar Ceezon and commented:
    It is so important to make your voice heard in this upcoming election. Do not sit idly by and let others decide for you.

  2. I think it is important to exercise your right to vote. In some countries, citizens would give ANYTHING to even have the opportunity to vote—it’s a good idea to remind oneself of that, whenever we feel the need to be apathetic.

    Congrats on being FP!

  3. David says:

    Excellent, excellent post. Congrats on FP!

  4. Marc says:

    I think it is wrong to say that by not voting someone automatically does not do anything to change the country for the better. By not casting a ballot someone can express that in their view the process of election is not legitimate. I find that to be a fair opinion. It also is a lot more about what people do in their every day lives than who they vote for. There are so many opportunities to have an impact every second. That important fact gets kind of lost when you say that people must vote if they want to change something.

    thank you for the article and congrats on appearing on freshly pressed!

  5. SO true — especially this:

    “I’m sorry that even though you believe the government to be a hot mess and not worthy of your civic participation, you still expect the government to continue operating on your behalf.”

    I’ve heard so many people claiming some bizarre moral high ground as the reason they abstain from voting — yet they’d be full of contempt if the basic governmental functions they’ve come to expect would come grinding to a halt. Thank you for calling this out!

  6. Mr. Daniels,

    1. What if you have a person who believes that it comes down to ‘voting for the lesser of the two evils’, is still voting for evil?

    2. What if you have a person who is a Veteran and decides they have earned the right to not vote, after having sacrificed so much of their private life for the greater good and it has spit in their face?

    Not loaded question, I assure you. I am genuinely interested in your take on this. Thanks!

  7. ASC says:

    It is true that all people should vote. Out of responsibility, individual or social, out of citizenship, out of many reasons.
    Fact is, we all want to vote. But when there is no worthy candidate, many do not feel like voting. Most candidates stand for money. This is the truth.
    But, when you see it from the point of view of “The president should stand for their people”. Sadly, many would not vote. The fact is that there are many people who can’t find a candidate that stand for what they think.
    America’s presidential debate is treated like a game show. The voting is like American Idol. It is so sad.

  8. The Smile Scavenger says:

    Thank you!

  9. oakritchie says:

    Well written and a lovely commentary on where we are right now.

    As a registered and active voter with no party affiliation, I find the hardest thing not to be the act of voting nor the candidate I voted for not winning, but rather the unfortunate pattern that you mentioned of the issues and topics most important to me not being addressed. Sometimes when they are addressed, it feels like they are dwarfed by the most polarizing themes in our political discourse, thus not getting much real attention at all.

    But yes, it’s truly vital to participate in the process, even if the machinery is faulty or broken…

    Thank you for this!

  10. brilliant. brilliant. thank you for that.

  11. Margarita says:

    …and then hold your elected representative – whether or not you actually cast your vote for that individual – accountable. Every day. Let that representative know what you think about the kind of job (s)he is doing in your behalf. Communicating just at the ballot box is not often enough. Send an e-mail, sign a petition, make a phone call. Speak out often – and always respectfully!

  12. S.C. says:

    Amen. This is an important message. I do feel like the system is horribly corrupted and needs a serious change, but the question is, how do you start to change it? By casting a vote for a third party and getting personally involved with the issues. That’s what I plan on doing.

    I understand the temptation to shut it all out, but we all have duties as citizens of a free (although an increasingly less free) nation to exercise our rights. Even if the attempt to reform is futile and useless, we still have to go to the polls because we can.

  13. You are right this election is too important not to vote.Excellent post.Regards

  14. This is indeed an interesting topic. However, I must disagree with you on the voting aspect. Many of my colleagues and I believe that voting is ineffective and useless in the modern era. Unconstitutional laws that target Americans are being proposed all the time. Politicians go back on their word often. The Federal government is growing larger every day. Voting is symbolic now because it gives us a glimpse of a democracy that we once had. Voting does not change things, revolution does. This has been shown time and time again. Even Thomas Jefferson said when a system is corrupt, revolution must be enacted.

    Bush v. Gore in 2000 showed that even though you vote, it doesn’t matter. The Electoral College rules all. The Electoral College is an antiquated system that does not deserve to exist in the modern era. People are more educated now. We shouldn’t need other people thinking for us.

    If Occupy Wall Street last year was any indication of the climate in America, it shows that the air is indeed ripe for a revolution. When the American middle class is effectively eradicated and no one can no longer get their sedative doses of television and other comforts, people will become incredibly angry and frustrated. Many people are already angry but their anger is misdirected. Its unfocused and misguided. People think Obama this or Romney that, when in reality they are all from the same root cause. Lobbyists and corporations control American lawmakers. General Electric, the largest American corporation paid zero income taxes in 2010. If that’s not enough to make someone go “What the f***” I don’t know what will.

    Whether this revolution will take the form of a bloodless revolution or one that includes violence, I do not know. Malcontent and frustration do not just diffuse away. Whether the revolution takes place in my life time or my children’s lifetime, I will not know. However, something will “pop” and when it does, it will not be pretty. I just hope this great country of ours can withstand it.

    Also, while I refuse to vote on a federal level, I will vote for my local and state politicians (considering that I live in a relatively small state) because I truly do feel that they make a difference.

    Sincerely,

    The Mid-Atlantic Lounge

  15. misfit120 says:

    Good viewpoint Chris. But….and there’s always a but, for a differing viewpoint check out the MisfitWisdom blog on WordPress 8/9/12 post. Archives section for the month of August. Yes, I DO still vote. : )

  16. prosewithabbitude says:

    It’s also not just about voting every four years for a President. Local, state and federal make up the government as a whole. Voting locally is also integral.

  17. In one of my posts I wrote, “The people of this Nation are in the crosshairs with our democracy being the target.” Further I stated, “Your VOTE is still YOUR VOICE, and it’s a valuable tool as long as you still want your democracy badly enough!” Are we really willing to give up our democracy by NOT VOTING?

    Thank you for your post; you were able to keep your argument in a much more level tone than I was able to achieve. Well done!

  18. Linus says:

    But on the other hand, if you don’t vote, you should be the only person who is allowed to complain. After all, by not voting, you are thereby not responsible for putting the inept person in office. All those people out there who complain about Obama, or Congress, or whoever…they are partly responsible for the mess we are in because it is there vote that gave those people their jobs in the first place.

    The whole “you have to vote to make your voice heard” speech is so overrated thanks to the electoral college. If we were a Country that relied on the popular vote, Al Gore would have rightly been allowed to serve his 4 years (at least) thanks to the fact that more people actually voted for him. Thanks to the electoral college, one must simply get more votes than the other in the states that matter…or swing states as the pundits like to call them. That in term renders Joe the Plumbers vote more insignificant than most (including you) like to think. If you live in a notoriously one way state as I do (New York is and will always be Democratic land), the chances that the Democratic candidate will get more votes is almost as certain as knowing the Yankees will be in the race come September.

    The only time I might concede it would be important to vote would be in the much smaller local elections. Those people truly have the most impact on our lives and it is there that my vote might actually tilt the election one way or the other.

  19. This is a fantastic post, thank you so much! Will be liking to it when urging my friends on the social networks, once again, that their complaining means nothing if they won’t actually vote and do something about it!

  20. I may have to send this to my sister; she is not registered to vote and says she doesn’t have the time to research the candidates.

  21. madhaus7 says:

    There is no excuse for not voting, I would have to agree. The problem I’ve seen in the last two presidential elections I’ve been legally allowed to vote in is that I’ve NEVER felt great about the person I was casting my vote for. There’s never been a candidate that I could proudly claim loyalty to. So far, and in this next election coming up, I always end up voting for the candidate that I feel is slightly less likely to screw things up. The Presidency is a tough job and I understand nobody can make everyone happy. But I wish things were less like high school name bashing as you mentioned and more concrete on important issues. I’ll be voting at least, for what it’s worth. But it won’t feel all that good.

  22. noviinternet says:

    I write from Europe from one small country – Serbia. Our elections were in May this year. There was a lot of posts about voting, pro et contra. The problem with today’s “democracy” is that is only a word, and that way the elections are only a game. The system is very, very bad, and cant be repaired. Only 99% movement can do something, even for you from LGBT population.

  23. The Boy! says:

    “I’m sorry that you do not have the time and impetus to educate yourself on the candidates – local, state, and federal – and the issues they advocate for or against.”

    Sadly that is the secret truth for many folks. Somehow, appearance and demeanor count more than their policies and track record. Anyway, nice post but it is weird when a post like this is even needed because everything you wrote seems like common sense. Then again, common sense is not so common.

  24. Prole Center says:

    There are a growing number of us who feel that the system is so hopelessly rigged and corrupt that even a vote for a third party is still a vote for the system. Boycotting the vote is not a passive act. If the already dismal voter turnout numbers dropped significantly lower, it would send a loud and clear message to our rulers and everyone in the society that we will not participate or comply with a corrupt dollar dictatorship. It is the beginning of resistance, of revolution. It’s time to start withholding our participation in the system at all levels and begin a campaign of direct action to tear it down and replace it with something better. Let’s get started!

  25. John Finster says:

    Your call to action could not be more timely, although in the most important aspects, it is timeless. Frankly, I wish we would replace plurality voting (two-party system) with instant runoff voting. This one simple change would probably help maintain voter participation at reasonable levels. Of course, instant runoff voting doesn’t guarantee that one gets everything he wants. However, it does improve one’s chances of getting most of what he needs.

  26. kitchenmudge says:

    Thank you for writing this in a reasonably articulate and informed way. I’ve seen much worse encouragements to vote: http://kitchenmudge.wordpress.com/2012/08/08/are-we-as-smart-as-tasmanians/

  27. ewtss says:

    Reblogged this on Enough With the Stupid #*&$#@! and commented:
    I couldn’t say it better myself. It continues to amaze me how the people who scream the most choose not to vote.

  28. Thank you. This is well-expressed. The thought of how many people do not vote for the various reason you articulated above is a constant source of frustration for me, at how so many can disvalue the process. I couldn’t have written it better.

  29. Well said! I always vote – as soon as I turned 18 I registered and have never missed an election since.
    And I’m partial to gingers 🙂

  30. DaPoet says:

    The president isn’t elected by the popular vote – which doesn’t count – but by the electoral college or in the case of bush 2 the supreme court. The more educated I have become on the issues the more useless it is to vote becomes more apparent each and every day, since both political parties have intentionally sold out the American people for the proverbial thirty pieces of silver.

  31. dste says:

    Thank you! I see way too much of this kind of attitude, especially in people my age. I wish people would at least take the time to inform themselves honestly about the candidates and political issues of the day. Then they should go cast their vote intelligently to at least let their voice be heard. Not voting doesn’t make a statement. No one knows why you didn’t vote, and politicians don’t care.

    Anyway, I wish everyone would read this article or one like it. Great job!

  32. terrilee says:

    Hey there! My name is Terri and I am leading the Call to Actively Boycott the 2012 Presidential Election. Google that term and see what you find.

    “We did not vote ourselves into this mess and we cannot vote ourselves out of it.”– Adolph Reed Jr.

  33. Darren Wolfe says:

    Don’t vote! The fact that we are allowed to choose our dictators doesn’t make us any freer. It merely gives voters the feeling of power and the illusion of control. All the while they are being manipulated into supporting a government that implements policies detrimental to their well being.

    What better way is there to get people to follow the law and pay taxes than to convince them that these things are their will? What better way is there to get people to tolerate the government’s evils than by convincing them that the situation is temporary and that they can change the government at the next election? What better way is there to get people to respect elected officials than to convince them that they, the people, chose these scoundrels to represent them? (A mandate, it’s called.) None of these things are true, but the fraud works. Democracy is held to be the best form of government yet devised. The question is best for whom? Certainly not the people.

    It does work best for the ruling elites who can hide their evil plans behind a smiling democratic facade. The formula is to give people just enough freedom to feel free but not so much that the government loses control of them. To assure that the people will put up with their laws, antics, and taxes the ruling class must keep the citizens involved. Most will take the easy route and go along, especially when the economy is doing well and they feel prosperous. It is past time for people to face the reality of what voting really is, an endorsement of the evils that governments commit. I call on you not to take part in this fraud any more. Withhold your consent! Have the courage to join us in principled nonvoting and commit not to vote ever again. Remember, if you vote don’t complain!

  34. matthewcro says:

    My father has been preaching this to me for years (in the UK), and I have voted in every election I can. My brother however (now 18) has the ‘can’t be bothered attitude’ and doesn’t find it important. While my father has tried to instill on him the same words he did with me, there seems to be very little effort in schools to encourage children to vote and the reasons why they should (except for maybe one teacher who takes it upon themselves to educate them).
    Whenever I meet someone who doesn’t vote for whatever reason I simply reply ‘fine, after election day, don’t complain’.

  35. elections are so important. Voting isn’t just a right, it is an obligation of each and every one of us. I’ve seen what this has done to my country. Now we’re stuck with a government that only a 10% of the actual population really wants. And then we complain, for what happens to us, but most of us were on a beach swimming on the election day.

  36. J Roycroft says:

    You are right. People need to get off their complaining asses and vote, unless you are one of those moochers, parasites or leeches who vote for the person who will allow you to continue your deadbeat lifestyle. If you are a member of the society of moochers please stay home and do not vote. YOU are what is wrong in America. YOU are the reason why we have a class warfare agenda president in office now. YOU are the reason my country is trillions in debt and why I am stuck paying for your free ride. Most of the producers are sick of you. So stay home, drink your beer, smoke your cigs, have more babies that I can support, and by all means, please, please, please if you decide to get a part time job let it be one that hides your disgusting lard ass from our sight. Garbage collecting comes to mind, but even garbage collectors have values.

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  38. shemovesinherownway91 says:

    I really think it’s important to vote. I think younger people take it for granted that they have the right to vote, but it wasn’t always like that. In my opinion. people who don’t vote are just saying they don’t care about what their ancestors have done to get them that right. They don’t care about the wars our relatives fought in, in order to have a democracy over dictatorship. And like you said, if you don’t vote then you have no right to complain about who wins the next election and their government policies. It’s not difficult to register and everyone who can, should do it. This is a great post. Congrats on being FP.

    http://shemovesinherownway91.wordpress.com/

  39. alyssaoursler says:

    Well said.

  40. Tom says:

    My cousin is risking his life in Afghanistan so that all of us can vote. Please make him proud by utilizing that right that he’s defending!

  41. clvngodess says:

    especially if you want to maintain status quo.

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