Last night after watching grueling election commentary, I joked that I was considering an exodus from the United States. This morning I read an article listing all of the celebrities (currently) who will be leaving the country if a certain candidate wins. And as I thought about it, I realized that I live in one of the freest goddamn countries in the world, hands down, feel free to dispute. If you are pissed off about this election, consider how we got here. Consider that only roughly 30% of the population turned out for primaries thus deciding who would be representing each major party in the general election. If you didn’t turn out – shut up. That’s the problem, so many people want to have an opinion and be a keyboard jockey but few are interested in getting out from behind the computer screen, off their asses and taking action. The voter turnout in America, while on the uptick, is abysmal at best. Shout out to Minnesota though, we often see some of the highest turnout in the nation – kick ass. But how dare we? How dare we choose (because we have the freedom to do so) to not participate in a process that other countries wage wars over? A choice that our own founding fathers sacrificed their lives for? How dare we be complacent when we have the freedom to vote and then whine about it later when we don’t like the outcome? It is your country, act like it. The primaries are just as if not more important than the general election and if you don’t turn out, you may not like who you get stuck with but you don’t get to complain about it.
For those who aren’t Americans and are wondering how we could possibly have 2 of the most deplorable (yep, thanks, Hilary) candidates in the history of American elections – when a candidate doesn’t win enough delegate votes to get on the ballot they sacrifice their delegates to the candidate with the majority delegates. In the case of Bernie Sanders, had he run as an Independent he could have kept his delegates and remained in the election. However, for some reason in America we are so insistent on being either Republican or Democrat that we feel that the Independent vote is a throw away and there just weren’t enough Independents to have gotten him on the ballot. To complicate things even more so, you can only vote within the party that you are currently registered in so a registered Democrat cannot vote for an Independent candidate during a primary. After the Bernie fall out, it seemed that many voters did not know this which is sad and I wasn’t even a Bernie supporter. Furthermore, the Electoral College is really who decides in the general election and candidates can and have won the election based on electoral votes and not the popular vote (the vote of the people). In a nutshell, the American people don’t actually pick their President. The winner can be announced even before all of the ballots have been counted (Reagan election, people still standing in line at polling places when he was announced POTUS), hell they could just stop counting altogether I imagine.
For those of you worried about what will happen depending on who wins – honestly probably nothing? The GOP still holds the House and if elected, Clinton would have a difficult time doing much of anything. Even Trump’s own party thinks he is a lunatic and should probably vote to impeach. We are looking at 4 years of bipartisan lobbying, gridlock, and bureaucratic bullshit because the people who run this country aren’t real leaders –they are the people who could pay or got paid the most for the title (special interest lobbying, look it up) and have just become mouthpieces for the elite. So I am sorry for anyone who thought that America was the land of milk and honey where every vote counts and all of our leaders are elected by the American people – it just isn’t so. Should you vote? Absolutely but honestly you should have thought about that oh…6 months ago…? Except for all of you assholes who write in Mickey Mouse – stay home, don’t make some poor schmuck waste their time counting your shit vote. Yes – it does happen.
Am I still proud to be an American? Absolutely and if you aren’t and you aren’t interested in making every effort to do something about the current state of affairs then please do leave. It isn’t perfect but I still wouldn’t dream of living anywhere else. Honestly though, what in the actual fuck happened to all of the real leaders?! This is one election I will be glad to see the ass end of and maybe we can get our shit together in the next 4 years.
Go vote – it is your duty as an American, write in your candidate if they didn’t make it through the primaries but vote. If you don’t know what precinct your are in or need to find your polling place, Google has a really excellent search engine. Don’t give up on America.