Why We Vote and Why You Should


It is easy to be overcome with anxiety from the voting process. You are not alone. On many levels, it can seem like a futile effort. Every couple of years we are put right in the middle of a stupid game that nobody really likes playing. Big business and special interests dump billions of dollars on this candidate, and that initiative effort, to try and convince us to vote this way or that way…usually against our best interests. We are bombarded with ads and overblown rhetoric invading every form of media we enjoy. I cannot check my email without at least ten messages from Bill Clinton and Joe Biden, these days. As voters, the entire process has become a painful exercise in bullshit.

But as painful as it is to suffer through the godforsaken process, what is more painful is not voting and letting the bastards win through apathy and attrition.

Believe that the system in place is specifically designed to exhaust you and discourage you from doing your civic duty. While politicians spout off about how much they want your vote, the fact is that the people who pay them off want you to stay home. You are unpredictable. You have the power to defy the odds and to bring common sense to the polling place. Special interests and lobbying groups HATE that about you. So they work tirelessly to convince you that your vote does not count, and have their puppets pass restrictive voter suppression laws to make the actual process much more difficult.

We have already seen long, long lines of people waiting to vote early in key states like Ohio and Florida. Why? In this day and age, it is unconscionable to think that the most advanced country in the modern world does not have a more convenient and credible way to cast a vote. We should be ashamed…but believe that is all part of the plan to keep your ass home on election day.

Do not let these parlor tricks fool you. Your vote counts and we need every last one of them.

The reason why we vote  is easy…to make our voice heard and to select the best options for running our government. It may sound boring, but it is most definitely not. Voting is one of the most powerful things you get to do as a citizen. A person should relish in their ability to be a part of the decision making process. It is important for you to make your voice heard and help us to make better decisions in this nation, and for the world.

It is easy for a person to try and rationalize whether or not their vote makes a difference….here is a cold hard fact- IT DOES!

In any given election only about 60% (not even usually) of registered voters come out to cast their ballot. The harsh reality is that the 40%+ who normally do not, are the ones whose voices need to be heard the most. It is the working class folks. The people who grind for 8-10 hours a day, raise the kids, and try to make the ends meet with a second job are the ones who normally do not find the time in their day to cast their vote. Yet, it is these people who need the most help and good representation. It is this 40%, that if they went to the polls, could vastly change the way America does business. It is because they do not vote that the rich and elite have run roughshod over our electoral process and have driven us to the point of chaos.

So while you mull over whether or not your one vote counts, you and the other 100 million folks that do not vote are allowing evil to steal elections, and set policies that continue to damage the fabric of our society.

Try to forget the big picture numbers and worry about your vote, your voice, and your duty to make a choice for what direction we go in this country. If you just do YOUR job then you have done your part. Sure…rarely is an election won by 1 vote….but the 2000 Presidential Election was won by 537 votes, and that election ended up costing this country dearly…effects we are still working out of this very day.

Believe there are 538 people in Florida who decided to take the day off because they felt their vote would not count, who now kick themselves in the ass as they look for a job in a struggling economy brought on by the Bush Administration, and whose grandkids will pay for the war he started that was unnecessary. Most people have more that 537 Facebook friends these days….we are not talking millions of people. We are talking one guy walking around for a month talking to people could have swung that election….so your vote and your effort DOES matter. Quit buying into the crap that it does not. That is just the line of bull you have been fed to keep you from screwing up the power grab that has been happening here for decades. End the madness and go vote already.

For those of you voting in Washington, Colorado, and Oregon on legalization ballot initiatives, I will make one plea with you. I have remained somewhat neutral in the battles happening over these efforts, mostly because I do not live there and do not believe in telling people how to vote on things when I do not have the power to cast a vote myself.  I still will not tell you how to vote. That is between you and the big magnet in the sky. But for those who oppose this legalization measure or that initiative for one reason or another, ask yourself this…..”Would you compromise on the problems you have with the initiative if it meant another person never went to jail for weed again in this country?”

I know…it is hard to wrap your head around. But get this….if two, or as I am predicting, all three legalization initiatives pass (I believe Oregon will squeak out like Arizona did for medical in 2010) we will succeed in opening Pandora’s Box of prohibition and force the conversation onto the center stage as never before.

I think it is interesting that the US Department of Justice has failed to issue strong warnings as they did in 2010. I think there is a change happening  albeit rather quietly and slowly, that could see REAL reform happen in the next year, or so. I strongly believe that if these initiatives succeed that it will be a watershed moment for our movement, and I believe we will see an end to cannabis prohibition shortly thereafter.

Now, while I am very pissed that I-502 contains a stupid DUI limit and does not offer much in return, I would not pass on ending cannabis prohibition once and for all because I am worried that some vigilante cops are gonna start running mass blood testing on weedheads around the state. Obviously, the choice is yours to make; but if the choice was about ending cannabis prohibition forever (which it is) would you be so cavalier in passing on it because of some stupid and poorly thought provisions?

Maybe you would. I would not. But that is why we all get one vote. If you choose not to make that vote, then you essentially have given the other side two votes. Please do not give our opposition two votes. They have already bought plenty.

When the sun comes up tomorrow, and the kids are screaming, you are a little late for work, your coffee machine is on the fritz, and you are thinking “Maybe I will skip voting this year” DON’T. Do it anyways. Make the sacrifice and get it done. We need your voice and your choice. No excuses…JUST VOTE.