It’s Election Day and the entire Internet is supercharged with people talking about their votes. Not how they voted or why they voted or what that vote means. And I really don’t care if you got a sticker for voting, and I really don’t care for this “Vote because people you’ve never met died to make it possible.”
Voting for voting’s sake is stupid and we should not be patting ourselves on the back for it as a country.
This election has me worried. There are a lot of issues that directly effect me and have shaped my politics. One of the more off-beaten-path ones, which I think I can safely point to as a reason for my support for Barack Obama (imperfect though he is), is net neutrality. For me, net neutrality is key to my livelihood, and Mitt Romney doesn’t support it. So we’re at odds. (Read this for an interesting perspective.)
There are other things I could point to, but why piss you off? Because undoubtedly I will piss you off, or you’ll piss me off, because we can’t disagree on this without one or both of us obviously being a moron, right? I mean, why would you vote for Clown X when Clown Y is clearly looking out for you, while Clown X is making plans with his secret conspiratorial allies to eat your children, even if you don’t have any children?
So all the utter excitement about the very act of voting grates, when we encourage people to go vote with no understanding. We let you vote straight ticket. We bombard you with rhetoric, all the time, and expect you to make an informed decision. We allow candidates to stand up and debate one another over lies. We allow them to lie to our faces.
Congrats on voting. You’re super great.
We should be proud not for going out and voting, but for knowing shit. You should get a sticker that says “I read about the available proposals and made an informed decision about which ones I thought were a good idea.” Being proud of voting is being proud of your participation ribbon. You showed up! Good for you! But a democracy is about being informed, and I struggle to say that we are that. Not with our current system, that allows an endless stream of money to pump lies into the air like a noxious cloud, with no one is held accountable for the spew. Even the fact-checkers are called bias.
I’m not super-thrilled to live in a country where we can’t even agree on what things are objective, verifiable facts. I don’t know that you should be all that proud about voting in that atmosphere. A voice sent out into a echo-chamber of noise and lies gets drowned out pretty fast. Is showing up and having no idea what’s going on better than not showing up at all?