Let me pop this selfie, for a moment. Because I’m an American woman and today is a big voting day in North Carolina (and Ohio and Florida)
Along with anywhere between 30-40% of the voting public, I am unaffiliated.
I had a hard time deciding the best strategy behind my vote. In NC, unaffiliated voters can decide which primary to vote in. Do I vote Democrat? Or, do I ask for a Republican ballot and vote for Rubio (the lesser of three very scary evils)? One vote for Rubio is one less vote for Trump and this election might be the most important of my life.
In the end, I voted with my conscious – I voted in the Democratic primary for the candidate I think is most likely to be able to affect change according to my belief system. Both candidates are appealing but my vote was more practical than philosophical. If you thought Obama had a hard time getting anything done, this next Democratic president could be worse off (I mean, Trump’s rise to conservative power does not bode well for bi-partisanship) and we need someone with experience and political clout. If we’re lucky, both Sanders and Clinton will be working together in the next administration.
So, besides voting, the next most quintessentially American thing I can do today is post a selfie. Not because I’m an attention-seeking jerk (I mean, I am, but that isn’t my motivation today) but because:
- TODAY , it is important to remember that women have only been able to vote in this country for the last 96 years. But, this change took decades to enact. The first national suffrage organizations were established in 1869. The broader movement for women’s rights started in 1840. And, remember, this mostly meant white women had access to voting.
- If you are a woman, remember – there are places TODAY that do not allow women the right to vote.
- The civil rights movement in the 1950s and 60s brought renewed voting rights for disenfranchised black citizens. But, TODAY, we are still seeing voter disenfranchisement with vote ID laws and gerrymandering. If you think I’m wrong, explain Trump to me. (Don’t really. I don’t want to hear it.)
- If you think Nazi Germany was another lifetime, you are wrong. Symbols of Nazism are banned but Angela Merkel, president of Germany, is seeing a bitter fight from the far-conservative right. This is happening TODAY. Germany has the strongest economy in the European Union. They have the highest success in manufacturing.
- This isn’t the Old Guard, either. The state of the European Union is important to us.
- That anger doesn’t live in a vacuum. It is happening here, now. On American soil. The rise of Neo-Nazism in Europe is spurred by the same issues of American White Supremacy. And, it is terrifying because we’ve seen how this ends. Someone is going to get hurt. People have already gotten hurt but we will suffer large scale pain unless we shut this down.
So if you are an unaffiliated voter, check your state laws. Maybe unaffiliated voters – moderate people who want to do the right thing – can be strategic and vote with their conscious.
Today is a good day to start.
- Follow your moral compass to your local polling place.
- Post that shit on social media.
Other than setting off fireworks, it is the most American thing you could do.
Of course, if you have fireworks, you should definitely set those off, too.