Letter To A Friend Who Is Not Voting

Over lunch, you told me that you were not planning to vote next Tuesday. The slight smile on your face told me that you knew what our reaction to this would be, that you knew there would be a stunned silence followed by a barrage of expostulation and argument. You knew, and you were prepared for it. You had your reasons straight, and I found I couldn’t argue with you then. I am, however, prepared to argue with you now.

We were talking about our Congressional candidates, and you said that you could not with good conscience support either of them. Honestly, neither can I. The constant influx of negative campaigning would have been enough by itself, but when I sat down last night to actually review their politics in detail, I confess that I almost drank myself into a coma. They are both pro-life, they are both pro-war, the differences between them boil down to a few inconsequentialities and my sense of a new hatred struggling with one which has stood for eight years.

You said, “Who are you going to pick to be your Leader? Who’s gonna be your Daddy?” and the anarchist spirit in me sat up and started asking how far down the river I had sold my soul just to try to reach something a little better than what we have, and whether it was worth it. Why am I so proudly insisting that it is every American’s duty to march into that booth on Tuesday and mark a choice for a person to lead the nation whom they would never choose to lead a Boy Scout fundraiser?

After hours mining through these thoughts and contemplating your admirably defiant spirit, I am finally ready to give you an answer. I will vote for the new evil over the old one simply because it is new. I will do this in the hopes that all incumbents all over the country are being voted out of office, for that is the greater message we need to send. It’s not really about Democrats or Republicans anymore. It comes down to the American people demonstrating that we are not blind to the path that our government has been leading us down, and that we will not be docile any longer. That we know it is not The President who holds the entire fistful of blame for the last six years…it was Congress who handed him the power he now holds. And it is Congress who can take it back, but they only will if they are sent an unmistakable message that what they have done will not be tolerated. We can send them this message in a clear and concise way on Tuesday. We can remind them all of who their Daddy is.

I will still be going into that little booth on Tuesday to choose the lesser of two evils. I will close my eyes and submit my choices and hope against hope that they somehow manage to make a difference. I will sit up that night and watch the results as they come in, and I surely hope that you and I will be cheering over our beers as we see the first baby steps toward the possibility for change. And though I will love you no matter what you wear, I truly hope to see a little, cheesy sticker on your chest saying that you had a part in that.