Stupor Tuesday for Texan millennials
March 1, 2016 § Leave a comment
Last Wednesday I called my co-worker to let him know I will be coming in late for early voting. I did come in late. I did plan to go vote. But I did not vote. After waking up in the morning and getting dressed, the feeling that I had that night, week and month and the year before came to visit me. I did not want to vote nor did I have any desire, motivation or inspiration. Unlike too many people, my motivation, inspiration, and desire to vote does not stem from disliking the opposite candidate. I am not scared of Trump to the point where I will vote for Bernie and Hillary; or vice versa and any combination you can think of. No combination or multiple of combinations will frighten me to choose the “other not so bad” choice.
I will admit, though, that I did consider choosing a libertarian candidate. Former Arizona governor Gary Johnson, the only seemingly normal candidate, ran again but I oppose his so-called flat tax. At least he puts his positions in clear ink, huh? Since I haven’t followed this race, I didn’t feel comfortable choosing either of the three Libertarian Party candidates.
Today is Super Tuesday and I have yet to vote. My disinterest in voting stems from a disbelief in voting as a system, as a process and as an institution; another thing can be said about the candidates and policies themselves.
The conversation pertaining to voting usually goes one of the following ways: “Bernie Sanders is good but he has no chance” or “I don’t know who I am choosing but I will not vote for John Wiley Price” or “Did you catch that gospel radio station fight?”
Voting is like the sacred cow for us. Us black people a sacred cow voting is. We cherish and have been told since childhood about the 3rd civil rights era struggle and progress during the 1960s. For Millennials it can be doubly stressful because we – the age bracket of 18 to 30 – decided who became president in 2008, they say. Despite Sanders appeal to younger voters, I predict a lower turnout rate for 35 and under voters compared to the 2008 and 2012 elections.
Voting is a topic that almost guarantees a response that includes signs of pain, face wrinkling and a shrewd posture. Voting shouldn’t be painful.
I wrote all of this to express a simple message and hope for it to calm your nerves after reading. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO VOTE. Practice the freedom of not voting before it becomes mandatory. Don’t let people guilt trip you into feeling bad for not “honoring your ancestors.” Don’t let people tell you that you can’t complain if you don’t play…play. We refer to the election process as a game.
The voting booth is not our savior and no data indicates black representation in public offices correlates with the incarceration rate, unemployment rate or income. African-Americans don’t compete numerically given our population and we don’t compete in terms of resources (and power) that is necessary to enact change in this capitalistic country. What makes a greater impact on bettering us is economic empowerment. Empowerment opens the door to a lot of things but the pre requisites require a sense of group cohesiveness, group economics and focus – all features we are greatly in need of.
These changes will do more good for us than voting. National elections are especially not dependent on us or any single vote. Our numbers play better in local elections and we can actually reach out and touch those officials.
Today you will read a lot of shaming towards non voters. Just let them know that instead of casting a ballot, you were engaged in more constructive things and vehicles to bring about the world you want to see. Besides, what is the rush to vote during the presidential primaries anyway?
Lastly, despite the important issues coming up for the Supreme Court, until something changes, the General election will receive the same treatment. W.E.B. DuBois sat out for the 1956 elections between Nixon and Eisenhower and despite policies for African Americans during Eisenhower’s presidency, DuBois had legitimate reasons.
In 1956, I shall not go to the polls. I have not registered. I believe that democracy has so far disappeared in the United States that no “two evils” exist. There is but one evil party with two names, and it will be elected despite all I can do or say. There is no third party. – W.E.B. DuBois