Tuesday, November 8, will go down in history as the day America shot itself in the foot, or possibly the femoral artery. Way too many white people, both men and women, fell for the rhetoric of a professional con man, and elected that con man to the Oval Office. But the worst part, the part that should really, really piss you off, is how many people simply didn’t vote.
People like Colin Kaepernick. That’s right, the guy who’s been kneeling during the National Anthem, the guy who claimed to support Black Lives Matter, didn’t vote. A friend of mine told me Kaepernick lives in California, so his vote didn’t really matter, which is so not the point. The point is he said things that made it seem as if he wanted to make life better for a group of people who are literally being shot to death in the street for being black. He could have used his vote to motivate others, to put his money where his mouth is, but he chose to just sit this one out. And helped elect a man who has promised to make law enforcement more militarized.
Keith Olbermann may not have voted, given he never has in the past. Yes, Angry White Dude who now makes videos for GQ, told The View a few years ago he has never voted. Olbermann sees this as some sort of protest. Are you kidding me? GQ published Olbermann’s video “plea to America” on Tuesday, where he said things like “we Americans,” and “that’s how deadly serious today is.” I’m having trouble finding anything stating Olbermann decided to finally vote on Tuesday; if you have proof one way or the other, please let us know.
As to the rest of Americans who did not vote on November 8, it’s fair to say the GOP’s war on voting is partially to blame. Voter suppression is high, with the removal of same-day registration, new ID laws that heavily impact groups who favor Democratic candidates, scaling back hours you can vote, and severely limiting early voting, in many states. According to the ACLU, voter ID legislation keeps millions of people from exercising their right to vote.
Then there are the registered voters who never vote because they think both parties are the same, their vote doesn’t matter, why bother, none of this affects me. If the past 15 or so months have taught us anything, it’s that the two parties are incredibly NOT THE SAME. Mike Pence, our new VP-elect, supports conversion therapy. In other words, he believes you can electrocute the gay out of gays, lesbians, and bisexuals. Hello? Anyone else find that really disturbing?
Your vote does matter. Want proof? Here ya go:
*In Florida, the difference was 119,770 votes. Trump won Florida.
*In Michigan, the difference was 11,423 votes. Trump won Michigan.
*In Pennsylvania, the difference was 68,236 votes. Trump won Pennsylvania.
*In Wisconsin, the difference was 27,257 votes. Trump won Wisconsin.
Why bother? Well, because over the past 3 days, minorities have been assaulted, mocked, terrorized, students as young as 9 are being verbally abused at school, and mass reports of vandalism specifically targeting minorities, that’s why.
Finally, the none of this affects me argument. Guess what? It’s not all about you. It’s about the woman who was literally grabbed by the pussy yesterday, or the black students being called cotton pickers, or the Muslim women who have had white Trump supporters rip off their hijabs, it’s about the transgender teenagers who are calling hotlines by the hundreds because they are terrified, it’s about the fact that millions of Americans are terrified.
Shame on Colin Kaepernick for not using his vote to motivate others, to show how important it is to stand up against racism, hate, bigotry, and xenophobia. And if he stayed true to his pattern, shame on Keith Olbermann for refusing to take his own advice.
And if you didn’t vote out of apathy, or laziness, or selfishness, shame on you, too.