Vote for others, if not for yourself.

This is…a tangent I’ve been meaning to go on, and a conversation among a friend group set it off.

My political leanings are to the left. Not extreme left, mind. But pretty left. I don’t, however, think that the democrats are perfect angels. I get some have veiled interests. I get some more or less fall in line with the GOP rather than their own party. I get that, and when it comes up? You bet your ass I’m just as critical of those people as I am of the GOP. Conversely, whenever anyone from the GOP stands up and does the morally right thing? Respect.

But I side with the left because they’re–as of right now–the only party with basic human decency. They’re not putting children in cages, nor are they banning transgender people from service or making it legal to fire LGBTQ people. They’re not actively trying to take away protections from disabled people. They’re not fucking over dreamers, and they’re not the ones trying to deport people of color (even those who are here legally. It is absolutely chilling that people have to worry about carrying proof of citizenship in case ICE comes-a-knocking). How anyone, anyone can even stand by and allow people to be imprisoned in concentration camps in 2019 is mind boggling in and of itself, but here we are. Welcome to the crapsack future.

If you know me at all, you might think that a good chunk of that doesn’t affect me. And it doesn’t. I’m not a person of color. I’m not a child to parents trying to cross the border. I’m not LGBTQ. It would be easy to say “well, I’m not gonna bother voting for anyone, because it doesn’t affect me!”

But I don’t. Partially because I’m a disabled person (T1 diabetic) who is affected almost directly by this administration (the ACA getting undermined and insulin prices going up), but also because while I may not be affected by a lot of these issues, I know plenty of friends/loved ones who are. And, of course, I’m going to vote for the party that–again–has some basic human decency. 

My feelings on this go back far, well into the Bush era in fact. I was in the middle of high school and it was already a pain and a half due to the amount of pressure that was on my back to not fuck things up. Of course, I couldn’t vote, so the adults had to vote for our best interests. And they didn’t. We got saddled with No Child Left Behind and the return of the exit exam here in California. NCLB made it so you didn’t even really learn anything in school anymore, as it aimed to reinvent the wheel and all previous curriculum was basically thrown out. It made a bad situation even worse.

This is why voting for others you care about, not just for yourself, matters.

A few years later, I was thrust out into the workforce with the mother of all recessions (thanks again, Bush) looming over us. That meant getting employer-backed health insurance! Except, well…I couldn’t. I’ve been diabetic my entire life, and while BCBS was willing to cover me, they were only willing to do it at an absolutely insane price that meant I’d be in the red every month. At one point, they just quit covering everything entirely, and I was left to fend for myself.

If it wasn’t for my grandfather fronting full retail cost for my insulin that month to buy me time to figure out what to do, I’d be very dead right now.

This is why voting for others you care about, not just for yourself, matters.

You may say, “but, but, both parties are the same! They’re both just as bad!” I again point you to the third paragraph down. I’m not pretending democrats are 100% clean of all ill doings, but they’re also not the ones locking people up in concentration camps. 

Even if–god forbid–you have no friends affected by the current administration.

Even if–god forbid–you have no friends at all.

For the love of fuck, vote for the people who are affected by the current administration. Vote for those who can’t. Show some basic fucking empathy.

(And maybe study up on WWII/Nazi Germany while you’re at it.)