I voted today. I always do.
I stood in a line, the first time I have ever had to do that for a midterm election, and I did my bit to try to reverse the slide into petit-Fascism that this wounded republic has been on ever since der Sturmtrumper and his minions, lackeys, cronies, enablers, sycophants, and cheerleaders took over and began systematically dismantling everything about the United States that made it valuable to humanity.
I stood behind a guy who was 28 years old and who had never cast a ballot before. I have no idea who he planned to vote for and I don’t care. It is an unmitigated good to have people vote. If there is any silver lining at all to our current state of political degradation it is that more and more Americans are getting angry enough at what is being done to them and their nation that they are exercising the right of suffrage – a right that Americans have fought and died to obtain, protect, and pass on to the next generation of Americans. It is a moral failure that there are so many people in this country – so many of them in the GOP – who see voters as a swarm of pests who need to be eliminated rather than as a group of Americans who need to be persuaded of the justice of their cause.
I handed over my proof that I had, in fact, paid my unconstitutional poll tax and was thus fully qualified to cast my ballot in Governor Teabagger’s (a wholly owned subsidiary of Koch Industries) pet state. Wisconsin has been a national leader in voter suppression – working hard to keep up with North Carolina, watching Georgia creep slowly up behind it – and it is a just and moral thing to trample such efforts in the dust.
I filled in the little ovals on the big sheet of card stock that Wisconsin uses for its ballots – no electronic voting machines that any random eleven-year-old with a jail-broken phone could hack, but instead a physical sheet of paper that can be recounted accurately as long as there is the political will to do so.
I got my stamp – we don’t get stickers anymore.
I will await the results. Turnout has been high, and that can only hurt the GOP, as they well know. There is a reason why they work so hard to suppress the vote. They know they cannot win a free and fair election. They have known this since Paul Weyrich, one of the originators of the New Right back in the 1970s and one of the founders of ALEC (the right-wing extremist legislation factory that produces laws for GOP state legislators to approve without reading) put it bluntly for anyone who would listen.
"So many of our Christians have what I call the goo-goo syndrome: good government. They want everybody to vote. I don't want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of people, they never have been from the beginning of our country and they are not now. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down," he said in 1980.
They’re pretty open about it, for those who care to listen.
At this point I have no particular faith that the GOP won’t try something spectacularly stupid to try to invalidate the election if it doesn’t go their way. This is a party that fundamentally does not believe in democracy as anything other than something to manipulate on their way to absolute power, and it is led by an openly authoritarian bully who sees laws and Constitutions as mere obstacles to be worked around as needed. If they manage to get through this week without setting the republic on fire, I will be pleasantly surprised.
I have voted.
I am an American. I am not afraid. These colors do not run.
I will stand, and I will be heard.