Seatbelt (Vote F*cker)
Over the last two years, the 45th president’s disapproval ratings have danced around the high fifty percent of the country, currently settling on 52.2% from dismayed American’s. It’s unsurprising, we’re just as divided as we were in the painfiully split 2016 presidential election.
To put it in perspective, President Barack Obama received the highest number of votes ever won by a presidential candidate, sweeping the race with 365 Electoral College votes against Senator John McCain’s 173 votes. Two years ago looked a bit different, where Hillary Clinton garnered 232 EC votes (62.5 million popular votes) next to Donald Trump’s 306 EC (61.2 million) win. With only 55% of eligible voters bothering to show up at the polls, the 2016 election had one of the lowest turnouts in world history. Nearly 64% voted in 2008, an all time high for eligible voters, and an 18.7 million person difference.
Inside the 2016 election, a series of disappointing shit went down. There is an astonishing low for women inside those numbers - 52% of white women tossed Trump keys to The Oval. But wait, there’s more: 52% of that 52% were white women over the age of 44. That means your mom, and her mom, and their sisters, and their friends. More than half of white women who voted, willingly raised a glass to a self-proclaimed pussy grabber. Yeah, read it and weep.
What have we learned? A lot of people don’t vote, and a ton of them didn’t vote in the last presidential race. And many of the unhappy faces across the country today are responsible for making it happen.
Two years later, here come the midterms. This could be really significant. Tuesday, November 6th is Election Day - that’s only 15 days away. In California, your absentee ballot must be received within 3 days of the race, so get that shit in. Before you do, get informed.
There is a lot of information and it’s really challenging to sort through the good stuff to assess which candidates and tongue twisted propositions represent you. I have a few suggestions that break down the bulk of the ballot.
Most broadly, most fun, and most notably, please take the time to click around Crooked Media’s Vote Save America. All you do is punch in your address, and voila! Your general election ballot is generated with fabulously digestible material. This guide doesn’t tell you who to vote for, it only gives you simple, factual information. Under each federal and state candidate, you can highlight particular issues to best understand an individual’s motivation. The proposition portion goes as far as to outline which organizations support and oppose it, and a crystal clear “if yes” and “if no” vision, giving you a great depiction of your vote’s impact.
More specifically, see Protect Our Winters Action Fund’s voter guide. There is no woman I love like I love Mother Earth. Without her, we can’t even argue gender equality, so let’s secure our mere existence first. We’re on a 9-1–1 crisis line to save our planet. There are a lot of valuable crises to pay attention to when voting, but the environment needs to be at the top of everyone’s list for our best shot. This guide uses the same technology as the last, but zeros in on each candidate’s plan for climate change, energy, and our environment as a whole.
Neither of these guides point to a voter’s best choice. If you’re looking for direction, see this additional resource from The League of Women Voters of California. I have to reiterate that you use other sources before copying down this list - but I generally believe in this organization’s analysis. Here you will find seven (of the twelve) propositions that are relevant to this group’s mission.
And finally, talk to each other! Hearing how your friends and family interact with these midterm elections is really crucial. Educate each other with productive discussions on the direction you’d like to see our country go from here. If you don’t like each other, talk to me! I am more than happy to share my personal voting choices more privately.
But if it’s not publicly clear, I’m a total liberal fucking Democrat and our party has a lot at stake right now.
If Democrats succeed in these midterms - aka elect Democrats and support liberal measures - Republican legislation could be screwed, new progressive bills could be introduced, investigations against Trump (including sexual assault allegations) could elevate with the power to issue subpoenas, and we would regain the strength to block Trump nominees. This means more than a brief article can say.
I hear your anger and I love it. We marched, we called, we wrote, we stood, we kneeled. These actions matter. But no action is greater than the significance of our vote. We fought for this right, how dare we take it lightly.
Please, share these links with the people in your life and encourage them to participate in change. The midterm elections set the stage for what’s to come, this is one notch on a belt we’ll need fastened the hell up by 2020.
x Dani Pinkus
Photo courtesy of NephJC