I am doing NaBloPoMo this month. 30 blog posts in 30 days. Come join me. #nablopomo2022
While I was out on my run last weekend, I came across this “leftover” Halloween decoration that I remembered from a previous election year, just with a slightly different message.
Today is midterm election day in the United States and it feels a bit dire, doesn’t it? I don’t know, I feel like it’s been pretty dire for a while.
Midterm elections historically have a lower voter turnout. I don’t really understand why people would choose to vote in a presidential election, but not in the midterms. It makes no sense to me. If there is an election, you vote. End of story.
“This is not a spectator sport, everybody’s gotta play.“ – Rachel Maddow
Midterms are just as important, if not more important than presidential elections because if you recall, we’re a representative democracy where most of the power lies with Congress, NOT the president.
I am sure you all know this, but let’s recap: Congress has two chambers — the Senate and the House of Representatives. Congressional elections happen every two years. Voters choose one-third of senators and all members of the House of Representatives.
The Senate has 100 members, which serve for six years. Right now, the Senate has a 50-50 deadlock between Democrats and Republications, but it’s controlled by Democrats since Vice President Kamala Harris has the tie-breaking vote. This year, there are 34 seats up for re-election.
The House has 435 members, which serve for two years. Currently, there are 222 Democrats and 213 Republicans, but all 435 seats are up for election.
Before laws are passed, both the Senate and House must pass the bill by majority vote, before it is sent to the President’s desk. So it’s imperative for the president to have or keep a majority in both chambers to successfully legislate.
If one thing has become abundantly clear in recent months (or if we’re honest, for much longer really), is that Republicans have been chipping away at voting rights in many states because they know that they can’t win elections if enough voters turn out for the elections. They are afraid of the changing demographic tide and will try to restrict and deny voters wherever they can. That is why it’s important for every single eligible person to get out and vote to keep our democracy alive and protect our rights.
I am sorry to say this but Republicans might act all high and mighty when they talk about “small government” and “personal freedoms” but if you really take a good look at their policies, they actually like to be all up in people’s business. Republican policies are intended to restrict and infringe on people’s rights (voter suppression, women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights, just to name a few) more than any democratic policies ever would. Just think about that.
If you really care about individual freedom then you vote to protect individual rights by keeping and growing a Democratic Congress. If Democrats can grow their majority in the Senate, they will be able to break the filibuster on key issues like voting rights, access to abortion, and gun control and actually get some things done.
And do me one favor: please don’t be a single-issue voter. I understand that there might be this one issue that is really important to you, but it should not be the deciding factor for a gazillion other issues on the ballot. Make an informed and well-balanced decision. (And yes, I am aware that might require a little bit of research. Welcome to your civil duties.) Your values might not completely align with any of the candidates, but you vote for the best overall option. That’s what you do.
“Voting isn’t marriage, it’s public transport. You’re not waiting for ‘the one’ who’s absolutely perfect: you’re getting the bus, and if there isn’t one to your destination, you don’t not travel — you take the one going closest.” – Debbie Moon.
P.S. I am trying to be hopeful. As of last night, 43 million people already voted early. That’s a record.