I voted yesterday. It’s what I do, what I think we should all do. However, this is a representative democracy and you’re as free as the next man (or woman) to abstain. That’s fine. Go for it. I know my vote itself doesn’t matter. That’s really the point. One vote shouldn’t carry all the power to make or break policy in this country. One man with one vote? That’s a dictatorship. We’re one people with millions of votes.
What disappoints me is the fact that people don’t seem to realize that while a single vote is but a drop in an ocean-sized bucket, the collective force of votes is a powerful tool in combating corrupt policy. I suppose it’s a good thing everything is going so well lately, otherwise poor voter turnout, general apathy, and sitting around on one’s ass could really cause some detriment to this glorious golden age we’re living in.
So you’re broke, unemployed, sitting around watching Maury and drinking away your sorrows. That’s cool. Again, it’s America, do your thing! Here’s a thought, though, since you have so much free time. Barring taking care of the children you have running around the place, why not volunteer somewhere? I know depression is a hell of a thing. When I was unemployed a few years ago it was amazingly hard to even want to get out of bed in the morning. At that time I didn’t qualify for unemployment benefits (forceful termination is your friend!) so things were a wee bit harder than they needed to have been. Did I get up, get out, and get to it? Of course not, I was depressed. So let me preach from my soapbox now that I’m not, you slackers.
Shit’s tough. There’s no denying that. Unless you’re one of the few people I know making over 20k per annum, you’re having a hard time of it. We’ve recently lost about 2/3 of our income in my household, and I’ve been reduced myself to about ¾ of what I was making this time last year. Ah the joys of going back to school. Without unemployment benefits (and those at 60% of the previous income), a helping hand from WIC, and jettisoning luxury items (I’m looking at you, second car) we’d be in a bind, and no mistake. And that’s not even considering the mortgage. Don’t ask me about mortgages. That’s tomorrow.
Anyhow, my unemployed brethren and sistren, I need you to take a good, hard introspection at what’s going on with yourselves. It is hard to find motivation, and I can’t prescribe for you where to look. My motivation is my wife and child. More specifically, it is trying to create a future for them. Thus, the return to school at the expense of a well-paying (if not mind-numbing) job. Thus, this creature you’re reading.
We must all, as Americans, hell, as Human Beings, find a purpose and work toward that purpose. You’re a conservative and want less government? Fight the corporations that have bought it and get some peace of mind (and a tax break while you’re at it.) You’re a liberal? See above. You’re in the same boat, friends. And yes, again, your single vote does not matter a whit. A solitary man on a corner attracts attention only as long as the light is red. But make it two men, four, sixteen, two hundred and fifty six. Now that’s a statement. At least in this small little town. Keep adding, multiplying, growing. By combining like minds towards common agendas, you, yes you, can sway the tide of an election. Just ask the Fundamentalist crackpots (and their more successful opponents) trying (and failing) to define a Zygote as a Person.
“What the hell is that?” I hear you ask. That’s a hot button issue, is what that is. That’s a knee-jerking (read: masturbatory) exercise in stirring up a crowd. And you can do that too, my unemployed comrade.
Only do me a favor and focus on feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, housing the homeless, and curing the sick of their ailments. When that’s taken care of, then we can worry about whether or not fetuses go to Heaven.