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If You Chose Not to Vote, You Made a Bad Choice and Will Be Punished

If you’re reading this it means you survived election day. Congratulations.

At the time of this writing it is Election Eve. Not to be confused with Christmas Eve, though it would be pretty cool if Santa showed up tomorrow.

There is so much at stake in this election. I feel overwhelmed just thinking about it. Should the Republicans retake the U.S. House they have already said they will begin impeachment proceedings for President Biden. On what grounds I don’t know, but they are professional liars, so I’m sure they’ll think of something.

Should the Republicans also take the U.S. Senate, who knows? Maybe they’ll have enough votes to remove Biden. They’ve also stated very clearly that a national abortion ban is on the horizon. They cannot wait to jail patients and doctors and to criminally investigate everyone who has a miscarriage.

Here in Michigan, hopefully Democrats have gained the majority in the senate — which would be the first time in almost 40 years that the senate wasn’t in Republican hands. And maybe Democrats will even take the Michigan house! That would be amazing. This is assuming that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson are all reelected (and here’s hoping, because all of their Republican opponents are unqualified and unhinged).

In Michigan we have to take at least one chamber (Republicans currently control both). Or we are, as the professional pundits say, pretty fucked. Republicans have a voter suppression ballot initiative tucked up their sleeves. It isn’t on the ballot, mind you. The people don’t get to vote on it. But because of a little oopsie-daisy in the state constitution, if a petition gets over a certain threshold of signatures then the legislature can just adopt it. And the governor can’t veto it. Their plan is literally the end of democratic elections in Michigan. Which should surprise no one since Republicans have made the end of democratic elections their goal nationwide.

So if you sat this election out, man I hope whatever you did instead was worth it. (99.9% chance that it wasn’t though!)

I try very hard to understand voter apathy. And I get it. Some things are just not as interesting to some people as they are to others. Take football, for example. My 13-year-old son is really into it. I, however, am really not. When he talks about it my eyes kind of glaze over and I hear white noise in my head (it’s actually tinnitus, but still). I love him and I do appreciate his enthusiasm. But I don’t share it.

The thing is, whether the Detroit Lions win or lose doesn’t affect my civil rights. Or yours! Election outcomes, on the other hand, absolutely do! But football seems to have far more people who are into it.

It honestly makes me feel dead inside that there are people who still support Republicans even after what happened on Jan. 6, 2021. By now the vast majority of the party are a-ok with Trump supporters breaking into the Capitol Building in D.C., assaulting police officers, seeking to harm and kill elected officials and shitting in the hallways.

Most people don’t realize how extreme the Republican Party has become because, as I mentioned earlier, most people don’t pay super close attention to politics.

While out talking to voters in Michigan, I knocked on the door of a 19-year-old who told me she wasn’t going to vote. When I asked why, she said, “I dunno. I’m just busy with other stuff.” It was maddening. I explained that reproductive rights were on the ballot (they are literally, Proposal 3 would restore the rights lost when the Supreme Court overturned Roe) and she said she would think about voting. Probably just to humor me.

But I am not humored. I am exhausted.

This could be the last free and fair election in Michigan. That’s not an exaggeration. While that 19-year old is busy doing “other stuff,” others will be deciding a huge part of her life for her. Anyone who can become pregnant should be fighting to save reproductive rights. It’s a personal issue, it’s an economic issue, it’s a healthcare issue.

I hope voters approve Proposal 3. And I hope this turns out to be a very good year for Democrats. But I know that there will be outcomes of this election that will be painful and hard for years to come.

Democracy is fragile. The Republic is not guaranteed. The U.S. is a baby of a country. And, sadly, we seem to have learned very little from history.

Prove me wrong, America! I'm begging you.

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