The pollsters and pontificators are moving at breakneck speed to produce the correct prediction as we move to within just a few days of the election. It seems that this campaign has been going on forever. We quickly delete the campaign related e-mails that seem to appear on our smartphones every other minute, and immediately tune out the obnoxious and incessant political ads that appear on our TVs endlessly. We know without even being told that an enormous amount of money has been spent during this midterm election cycle. The intensity and negativity of the messages being screamed at us have made this a particularly distasteful process. Though the elections are local, the tone that has existed in Washington D.C. over the past six years has seemingly just become part of our national political culture, trickling down to the local level. The current political environment and seeming political paralysis does make it difficult to get excited about voting, yet to sit this election out is to give into those who will gain the most if you don’t vote.
We have been told by those in the know that this election will be determined by turnout. That is, of course, always the case, but in this cycle it is particularly true. While the gerrymandering that took place in 2010 created a significant number of “safe” GOP Congressional seats, there are many more that are not so “safe”. Though there is no expectation that the House will change to a Democratic majority, holding the Republicans to a narrower majority would make it more difficult for them to ride rough-shod over potential legislation. There are many congressional districts where a strong Democratic turnout could make the difference. The Senate is in true danger of shifting to a GOP majority. Anyone reading this blog post understands the implications of this change. Not only would it endanger the progress of the past six decades made in minority and women’s rights as well as health care, but it would seek to erase the Obama legacy as if this Presidency never existed. It is clear that Obama and all that he represents is anathema to the GOP and all that it stands for.
As we all know, the GOP has sought to block progress on almost every issue that is important to the progressive majority of this country. Polls have shown majority support for immigration reform, gun control measures, increase in the minimum wage, and equal pay for equal work to name a few issues. How is it than that the GOP has been able to block action on any of these issues? This is particularly troubling when you realize that there are more registered Democrats than Republicans, The simple answer is by controlling the legislative process on the local, state and federal levels. How do they do this? By getting their supporters elected. They spend a fortune on elections, they corrupt the voter registration and polling processes and they gerrymander the districts when they can. They are happy to make these election cycles as distasteful and nasty as they can to turn you off. They want you to sit this election out because you are so disgusted at the whole thing. The lower the turnout the greater chance of victory for them.
It is amazing that so many of the key senatorial races are polling within the margin of error. This means that despite the President’s low polling numbers and the sense of chaos being promulgated by the GOP throughout the country, the voters don’t necessarily see the GOP as the solution. Most importantly, it means that if you vote, you can deny them their wish. They don’t want you to vote. They are doing everything possible to discourage you from voting. What does that tell you? Well, here is what I am telling you. Every vote counts! Your vote can make a difference! If you don’t vote, you forfeit your right to complain!