I live in Illinois. We're a blue state, have been for ages. Our state is going to go to Obama, no matter what I do. Recently I overheard some co-workers talking about how it's not even worth it to go to the polls because our votes wouldn't matter (we're going to Obama), and even if we were a swing state, our votes wouldn't matter because of the electoral college. And I know it's true, but it still pisses me off.
What can I do at a polling place that matters? I don't trust either one of those rich fuckers. According to opensecrets.org, McCain has raised $230 million and Obama has raised $454 million. They're both elitists. They are both richer than I will ever even hope to dream of being.
Neither one of those rich fuckers will ever know what it's like to sell possessions to put gas in their cars. (I had to do that three weeks ago). Neither one will ever have to take a jar of coins down to the CoinStar and lose 8.9¢/dollar just to get money to turn into quarters to do laundry. (That was two weeks ago). And you can bet your sweet ass that neither one of them has ever had to use to a windbreaker as a winter coat (in Chicago, no less) and sat around on the el trying not to cry because everybody else looked so warm and cozy. (That was ten years ago.)
So I'm doing something different. I am going to count this year. I am not voting for either one of those over-funded, over-polished, under-hearted jackasses. I'm putting my vote in for a third party. "No! Not another one!" you're thinking. "That's how we lost in 2000, you ninny!" you might be screaming at your monitor. No, no. You don't understand. My vote won't elect Obama or McCain. My vote will, however, get us one tiny step further on the road to eliminating the two party system. It will not be lost in the millions of other moot votes, it will not be just a drop in the ocean running towards the pockets of American politicians and the corporations that pull their strings. My ancestors didn't fight for my right to sit idly by and be another brick in the wall. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, and Susan B Anthony, and all those forgotten others, did not fight so that my vote could be cast in vain.
To the disillusioned millions out there who think their votes do not count, I say you're doing it wrong. You're voting for the leaders of Corporate America, not the leaders of our America. You're voting for bailouts for the rich and the legislation of motherhood, death, and love. What does John McCain know about women that gives him the right to say if we can have an abortion? What right has Barak Obama to tell the millions of terminally ill Americans that they can't die a dignified, peaceful death at the mercy of a needle? What right does anybody have to tell us who to love, and how, and whether we can be married? None. Absolutely none.
You have got to stop voting for the candidate who had the best stories on Letterman or the guy who did the funniest skit on SNL. You have got to stop that NOW. You have to stop voting for what's cool and start voting for what is right. The two party system isn't right. The electoral college isn't right. But the absence of your voice is your permission for this mess to continue. You cannot sit on your ass, stuffing your face and watching "America's Next Top Model" and expect anything at all to change. YOU are the change. YOU have the right, the power, and the responsibility to vote for someone who doesn't speak for Corporate America. The problems of our nation, of our world, rest on your shoulders.
Stop doing what the TV tells you to do. Be somebody you can be proud of. Turn off your fucking iPod and stand up to count for something. Start a revolution.