Why I hate your "I Voted" sticker
Happy day after Election Day! I know you are likely still brimming with narciss…I mean patriotism from engaging in the civic process. However, I’ve got WORDS 4 YOU & some things to get off my chest about all this political stuff we apparently aren’t supposed to talk about.
For starters, I admittedly have hated politics and our political system for most of my life. This may have started all the way back in elementary school social studies, when we were clipping out newspaper articles and pretending to debate. Of course that wasn’t the issue because, who doesn’t love a healthy argument, but I think the issue arose from the lack of accountability in the political arena. You can literally say any outlandish thing to get people on your side. Additionally, this was when I learned that all us black kids were democrats and the white kids were republicans. “Why,” an inquisitive, snotty nosed 3rd grader might ask? A question that would, of course, be met with the hallmark answer of adolescence, “just because.” (I personally don’t bang with either set, red or blue)
I’ve become increasingly self-aware over the years and learned I’ve got some issues. One of them being, I don’t do well with “just because” or “everybody’s doing it” blanket statements. I know, I’m a causeless rebel who needs help. Herein lies my issue with the common populous’ reaction to the midterm elections. I get it, there are problems with this government, this country, ridiculous racists, police killings, mass incarceration and disproportionate sentencing for minorities, gentrification, ridiculous Trump building walls and speaking of groping women like objects, immigration, teacher salaries and the beat/list goes on and on. However, all I hear is a neutered call to action saying “you better vote” and wagging a finger. I honestly feel like more people vote for a sticker to post on social media than to actually elicit change. I guess them voting is something to give kudos over? But naw, hol up! What do you actually think is worse, the ignorant voter completely oblivious to all issues and candidates or the non-voter (who may be sticker averse)?
For further reference, I used to be a sticker averse, non-voter. However, I decided to participate in the midterms this week. I decided to do things differently though, and only vote (primarily) on areas and candidates that I took some time to do some research on. This left me filling out less than half of the actual ballot. I still don’t trust politicians, that’s including all party and color affiliations. I still struggle with thinking that every vote counts at times. I still think the media and system is feeding us lies and propaganda. But, the one thing I will not be any longer is an ignorant bystander, being led to the polls like a sheep to the slaughter and stamped with a sticker like packaged meat in the grocery store.
Phew…okay, I think I’m calming down now that I got most of that out. The thing is, Google and technology at our fingertips grants too much access for me to continue to be bamboozled. I won’t fake like I’m a political activist by any means, but I’m going to push that we all look at more of the facts and call out the crap. There are some steps we all can take to be less ignorant. I mean let’s listen to the amazing Angela Rye drop knowledge on the Breakfast Club for 30 minutes or put some pompous, Anglo-Saxon on CNN in their place. Let’s talk with our friends about issues and who’s actually trying to run for these positions in our area. Let’s ask questions vs. continuing to be comfortable in our ignorance. Let’s be real woke vs. doing it for the ‘gram. Let’s study the ballot before we walk into the polling center for a freaking sticker. Let’s push each other to do more and be better.
Welp…obviously, I got “WORDS 4 YOU!” Think I went a bit too far or am a bit too jaded? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment and feel free to share.
Peace and Blessings,