I WILL NOT LET MY VOTE COUNT AS A MINUS ONE

  1. There's something really frustrating about the either-or narrative of American Politics.
  2. The notion that you must choose... Are you a Republican or a Democrat?
  3. Or, are you a Loser?
    Opting for any other political party is what crazy people do and we don't want their votes to count anyway, right?
  4. But, as far as I can tell, opting in to a political party is not a constitutional prerequisite to your right to vote as a citizen of this country.
  5. For many voting cycles, I've begrudgingly checked the box.
    ☑ Democrat
  6. I checked it only upon reading the voter instructions that told me that if I didn't, my vote would be rendered invalid.
  7. An invalid vote?
  8. I'm allowed to have views and opinions and hopes for change by backing certain candidates or policies only AFTER I've declared allegiance to a certain party?
  9. So, do I need to become a member of your church even if all I want to do is make a donation to your church's food bank, that I can see really does help people?
  10. Of course not!
    Nope, no thanks. This is where I opt out and try to find alternative ways to participate in the change I long for.
  11. But, if I take a step back to examine my choices, I'll be blamed.
    At least, that's what the "party unity" rhetoric would have me believe. If I don't get in line and the nation succumbs to a tiny-handed bigoted bully, it will be my fault.
  12. I don't buy it.
    By now, you may have figured that Bernie is my guy.
  13. Declaring my Bernie Love publicly leaves me open to attacks on my character...
    Foolish, stubborn, temper-tantrum throwing. I have no tantrum to throw.
  14. I just have questions.
    How will my vote make things better for the people I care about.
  15. How will my vote make things better for veterans?
    Will someone stand up for the men and women whose lives have been considered expendable by the oligarchy? Will we care for them, providing real and accessible mental health support for the years following the trauma of war?
  16. How will my vote make things better for non-white people?
    I'm a white-passing granddaughter of Mexican immigrants. The POC struggle angers me to sleeplessness, but the privilege inherent in my own skin color keeps me quietly listening instead of raging.
  17. How will my vote make things better for my daughters?
    DAUGHTERS! I teach them to value themselves, to value bravery and kindness and hard work. How long will my influence hold sway before they encounter the system that they actually live in that values them only 79% as much as it values men?
  18. How can my vote make things better?
    I will not answer the question: How can my vote stop things from getting worse?
  19. Because you don't get to tell me what questions to start with.
  20. And you don't get to shove an answer to your own questions down my throat with angry divisive memes.
  21. I'm not falling for it.
  22. If it turns out that I live in a nation where MOST people prefer a tiny-handed bigoted bully, having him as President will be the least of my concerns.
    My greater concern is that the people who voted for him are my neighbors. How do they think? How will they behave? Are his voters veterans? POC? Women? Do they feel he has their best interests in mind? How will I interact with people I have such a hard time understanding?
  23. Look at all of those actual people who liked this. Not to mention ALL THE ACTUAL PEOPLE who voted for him in the primaries. I'm genuinely astonished.
  24. I will vote for hope, if I vote at all.
  25. I will not fall in line under some fallacy of playing defense.
  26. I will vote FOR what I believe, not AGAINST a fear-based rhetoric.
    That's if I believe this system will actually count my vote at all.
  27. I will not let my vote count as a Minus One.
    So, maybe try a less insulting, less divisive, more issue addressing, more honest, more human approach to your argument for my vote.