More than One Vote
I have friends who don't vote at all. The idea of democracy is a noble one, but it's never been in practice what it purports to be in theory. We live in an oligarchy, a system of government in which the few who are in power make special efforts to keep themselves and others like them holding the reins. There no longer seems to be any special agenda being advanced by either party there's no cold war, few groups are left that can be oppressed legally, and we still have more resources than any other nation.
If the world is fucked, and our country is the one doing most of the fucking, why should we contribute even five minutes of time to endorse one of two evils, or even a lonely crusader with a penchant for ratting out corruption?
For years, the mantra of the politically-minded has been, "Think globally, act locally." In high school, that usually translated to, "recycle cans, don't litter." You'd save the whole environment by keeping your neighborhood clean.
As a grownup, cursed with more knowledge about the workings of the world and with our part in it as citizens of the United States, I've grown to take the bumper sticker seriously. If I don't want girls to work in sweatshops, I shouldn't buy the clothes they make. And if I don't want to take part in the evils that men do, I need to start by voting against them.
This year, I actually went into a campaign office and stuffed envelopes and discussed strategy and even had my name listed on the official mailer as an endorser. I found myself with a chance to make a difference to both my city and my neighborhood by working on the election for District Supervisor for a candidate who had not only a vision and a heart, but a chance to win.
My mother would never tell me who she voted for. It was personal to her, and it is to me, too, but in a different way. I can't sit back any more and read about evils without doing anything. It's not true that I don't have the power to change anything. This year, I didn't vote just once. I approached nearly a thousand people, in person, about their votes, all for local candidates and measures, and now I'm talking to you. Think globally, but act locally. Vote for what you believe in, and leave the rest blank.