Letter to the Apathetic
November, November, November. It feels like all everyone is talking about is the election. Everything on TV is about the election. Everything on the Internet, on the radio, on the covers of magazines. Lately it’s about all I listen to and all that’s been running out of my mouth. Even tonight, as I attempt to tune my ukulele with a fractured wrist, I think about Mitt Romney’s interview on 60 Minutes where he flat out refused to explain his tax plan. Or Paul Ryan’s pro-life formulation which equates rape to a type of contraception. Or the otherwise collective voice of the current Republican party, which seems to run a gamut from the wealthy entitled to the sexist to the racist to the confused. Indeed, my mind feels like its being spun into a tornado of all the awful things Republicans have made this campaign about, and you know what? I’m getting a little depressed about it.
It’s a month from the election, so obviously the Democrats are getting a little pushy. President Obama emails me every day, multiple times. He already has my money, and he has my vote… but he has a campaign to run and I happen to be subscribed to it via email. However, all those emails have a way of making me feel like I don’t do enough. Joe Biden, and Susie ‘Obamacare-saved-my-life’, and Beyonce all write lovely emails as well – and they get to me. I laugh, I cry, I contribute when I can, I feel passion about the campaign. And since I get angry when Todd Akin says anything (Obama emails like to remind me of his existence) the emails get the job done.
But sometimes I want to unsubscribe and scream into my pillow when I can’t find the fast forward button to make it November 6th already. This anticipation hurts me. I feel less excitement than dread. I want to listen to all points of view – but I don’t want to listen to horrible people like Ann Coulter any more! Election season on TV seems to mean letting the sociopaths take over. Sometimes I wonder if they even believe what they’re saying. And it all reminds me that there is a sizable population in this country that is just as willfully ignorant about what’s going on in the rest of the world as members of the Taliban.
On November 6th I am going to get up to vote and so should you – even if it’s apparent I just talked loads of shit about your party just now. And in the meantime, it’s also important to seek out a wide range of views– to watch different news channels and to read different perspectives in the newspapers (and by the way, there’s still way more information to be found in newspapers than on TV or blogs). Too much listening to your favorite point of view without hearing anyone else’s can literally distort your brain. Yeah, I admit I get mad reading Republican-skewed articles but I still do it because it’s important for my overall health – kind of like flossing my teeth.
It’s important to develop a point of view, but how do you know how you really feel unless you try to at least understand another perspective (no matter what side you are on). Maybe more would get done in Congress if our own two parties acted that way (especially one in particular….). Because an election isn’t just about “abortion/no-abortion” – the choice of who to elect comes down to what is important to you. What kind of government do you want? What kind of President do you want representing us to other countries? (think long and hard about this one if you lean conservative… ok, I’ll stop).
In the end we may or may not get the government leaders we want – but we’re bound to get even worse ones when people don’t care. When we act as though none of this affects us. When we would rather watch the latest episode of Honey Boo Boo or Keeping Up with the Kardashians – than deal with ‘difficult’ or ‘depressing’ issues that have no easy solution. Personally, I would rather do that too sometimes (well, not watch those shows, but maybe play World of Warcraft…) but tough shit. It’s election time. Apathy is no good here. And remember that once upon a time – like less than a hundred years ago – women in this country still had to fight just for the right to vote. I don’t plan on doing those ladies a disservice.
Romney no ‘splain taxes too well – http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/17/us/17iht-letter17.html
Paul Ryan is a dubious person – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-slansky-/paul-ryan-said-something-_b_1832377.html
Eve Ensler addresses Todd Akin’s ‘rape’ theory – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eve-ensler/todd-akin-rape_b_1812930.html