When I started this blog in 2013, it was with the purpose of writing about the things I enjoy with my friends, specifically fandoms and fandom culture.
This post, however, is not about fandom, or memes, or my newest celebrity crush (it’s totally Henry Cavill, by the way).
This blog post is about the most important thing happening this year in America: the 2020 election.
I am not here to lecture you on the two-party system (although I could), or the ramifications of having a stacked conservative federal judiciary (even though it’s terrifying af), or even why the Cheet-o in Chief is unfit to hold the highest office in the land (because undoubtedly you have heard it all before).
No, I am here to talk about one thing: voting.
Why Should I vote?
^What Mark Ruffalo said. It matters.
I grew up on the idea that voting was something that old people did—you know, my parents—and that young people, the “cool” kids, didn’t need to vote.
And then came Prop. 8 in 2008, which, incidentally, was also the first time that I was eligible to vote in a presidential election. If you’re unfamiliar with 2008’s Prop. 8, it was the California proposition that ruled that marriage could only be recognized by the state as legal if it was between a man and a woman.
My best friend had recently come out as gay, and I was beginning to understand that my own sexuality was definitely not straight. Even though I’d been raised conservatively, I knew that it was wrong to take away my best friend’s right to marry whomever he loves.
I voted, and though Prop. 8 passed until it was ultimately overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013, I was proud that I had voted no on that legislation, and proud that I had aligned my personal morals with my political views.
Fast forward to 2020. It is now more important than ever that all eligible voters come to the realization that I did: that not only is it a civic right to vote, it is a moral and ethical obligation to vote.
How Do I Vote?
I spent a lot of time this morning making these infographics with information that I commonly share with my students, who are typically first-time voters and 1st generation Americans. I hope that you find it useful!
I also posted this on Instagram, if you would like to share the post from there.
My Family/Friends/Coworkers Have Different Political Beliefs. What Do I Do?
As someone who has Tr*mp supporters in her family, I commiserate with you. Do I love my family any less? No. Do I like them less? Probably. I cannot claim to know anyone else’s situation, but my family is in the camp of “as long as it’s not a Democrat in office” and don’t seem to pay attention to the nuances (or lack thereof) of Tr*mp’s platform. I don’t like it. I don’t agree with them. We’ve had many hours of arguing about politics, but you know what? Sometimes we DO agree. Not on candidates (obviously), but on other things. Just the other day, my brother (the biggest conservative I know) went off on how the Chinese government treats the Uighur people deplorably, and that’s something we agree on. We both agree that it’s a human rights violation and that action should be taken. So, sometimes, human decency can win out over political party (even if it seems to be happening more and more rarely).
Here’s the thing, politics can be dirty. Politics can be brutal. Politics can divide us. If the first presidential debate was any indication, this election is going to be even uglier than 2016, and that is why it is SO important that as many people vote as possible. Elections are supposed to demonstrate the will of the American people, and that only happens if a majority of eligible voters actually vote (and if gerrymandering and voter suppression are blasted into oblivion).
Whatever the results of the election, I want it to reflect the opinions and morals of the majority of America. Please, register to vote. Tell your friends, family, neighbors, mailperson, random dude walking his dog, to vote. And not just to vote for whatever name they recognize, but to take their time and really reflect on the changes that this election could bring to us, both because of candidates and propositions. (Visit ballotpedia.org, yall)
And now, in the words of Mama Ru herself:
See you at the polls.