It’s election day. You should vote.
You don’t have to care about the whole country. But you probably should.
President Obama has done a few things I question–giving trillions of dollars to giant banks who did flatly stupid things with borrowed money without asking for any re-regulation in return, for one–and a few that I absolutely disagree with (drone strikes everywhere all the time.) He’s done quite a lot that I do agree with: The Affordable Care Act is only the best known known in a long list of items. I don’t think he has much of a plan for the future of the country that doesn’t involved ideas that he’s already thought of, but it’s better than the alternative.
I look at his opponent and I cringe. I have never cringed from any politician before now, and it’s doing things to my head. I look at Mitt Romney and I see a robot who is programmed to make money and has no room for any other course of action. When he opens his mouth, I hear William Shatner’s (admittedly awesome) cover of Common People. If the three televised debates were any indication at all, the man has no concept that hasn’t been fed to him by a GOP advisor. The fact that he has said that federal disaster relief is immoral sits especially poorly with me after the ugly fact of a particular storm named Sandy. One of his church’s foundations is the death of every Jew on the planet.
The man is a bastard. I don’t mean that the way I’d say that Richard Nixon was a bastard. Nixon was a progressive compared to the freaks the GOP supports now. Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Nixon wanted to give every American a guaranteed income. But Nixon thrived on power in a way that no President before him did. Romney is all about power. Making money is his only real skill. A president should be a statesman, a leader, a man who at least acknowledges that the nation he leads is inhabited by people who are not like him. He needs to know where Syria and Iran are located on a map and he needs to be someone who does not vow to strip a few million Americans of their health insurance. He should not be willing to say literally anything to any audience to get their votes.
Anyway, you don’t have to care about the country. You should however care enough about your little corner of it to get your ass out to your polling place and vote for someone. It takes a few minutes, and it is a freedom we have not yet lost–but may lose one day if too few people bother to take care of business today.
First, 33 states require some form of voter ID. Check this map to see what form of identification the laws in your state require.
You can find your Congressional District maps here. They aren’t particularly detailed but if you can read a map well enough to locate your house on one, then you should be able to use these. You can find your polling place here.
If you know your representative’s name, you can look up his or her voting record here. If you don’t know his or her name, you can find it there as well. (We’re currently in the 112th Congress.)
State ballot initiatives are listed here. Opensecrets.org has a list of which corporate donors gave the most money to which congressmen. Sadly, one thing I can’t seem to find is a website that has listing for all the local races in each state. (If anyone comes across such a page, please post a link in the comments area. Thanks!)
If you are not registered to vote in your state, you can probably still volunteer at your polling place. They’re often short-handed, so head there and see what you can do.