I want to talk with you about the upcoming election. I understand, you may be thinking: oh sweet jesus anything but that. And I get it. And I want you to hear me out. I want to tell you the story of how I decided to vote for the first time ever in this election.
Growing up, I had been conditioned to believe that the entire government system is corrupt, our votes don’t count, and that I shouldn’t vote. I also was conditioned to believe that being black and being gay were wrong, big brother watches every move, and even though I had brown eyes and brown hair, hitler would’ve let my family live. That’s besides the point, though I thought I’d mention it. When I was a teenager and well into my early twenties(like up until 2 summers ago) I didn’t even consider voting. Because of this reasoning: the election is rigged, it doesn’t matter if I vote, whoever is going to win is going to win anyways. In the 2016 election, the first presidential election I could vote in, I snuffed at people who voted, who stood with either candidate because I believed that it was still the lesser of two evils. I was despised by the fact that people wanted a businessman billionaire office and I was despised by the fact that people stood with “her” a woman who was married to Bill clinton. Even if she was a woman, I wasn’t in the frame of mind to even consider voting. And we all know how that election turned out.
So fast forward to 2018, I’m sitting at a Vine Neighborhood house party outside on a bench, having a smoke break in between bands and I started talking with this woman. I had become more accepting as a human in the passing years and she found an opening. We started talking politics and I actually listened to her point of view. Granted this whole time, I’d have numerous friends try to reason with me to vote. One friend straight up gave me the evil eye when I told him I wasn’t registered to vote. And it still didn’t sway me. So I’m talking with this girl and I tell her about how I don’t believe in the system and it’s rigged and it’s just a bunch of white old men controlling everything behind the scenes. And she’s like I get it, and started talking about how I could start small and vote in community and state elections first because those are what really matter. That sparked interest. She said not to think about voting as just the presidential election, and that the “smaller” seats ultimately have more say for specific events happening within our state and city.
So there I was talking to a stranger and I decided to consider registering to vote. Yes, only considering, I didn’t wanna get carried away. I thought “Yes, I can vote in small elections and that’s it. Perfect!” I got registered yet still didn’t have enough gusto to actually look into when community elections happen. The democracy system is very complicated, on purpose.
Then 2020 came. And Marianne Williamson was on the ballot for the United States Presidential primary election. If you don’t know who Marianne Williamson is, I suggest you look into her, she’s well worth knowing about. Marianne Williamson is the author of A Return to Love, Tears to Triumph and many others. She brings intellect, intuition, observation, authority, and spirituality to the table. I figured she wouldn’t get very far in the election because she’s not in politics. (I guess only skeezy billionaires can do that.(The system is still fucked)) Yet I knew that voting for her would be a great first time voting. An easy way to get me in the door. And I did, I voted for her in the primary election and that’s when I realized that I wanted my vote to be insignificant. I didn’t want it to count. Because If I voted for someone who was truly in the running, then I’d have some responsibility in the outcome.
And then I realized the fullness of how I feel. Yes, our system is corrupt as fuck and needs to be broken down. Dismantled. Potentially bombed and obliterated. And not partaking in the election was the easy way out, an easy way to put blame on people in power, judge and point fingers at other people, and leave myself out of it because “I didn’t vote for any of ‘em”
This past year of upheaval has taught me many things. One thing being, we are more powerful together than we are divided. The diviseness between voting and non-voting is as strong as the divisiveness between parties. And that’s what the rich (mostly)white men behind the curtain want, us to be divided. We need to integrate with each other as much as possible. Because here’s the Truth I believe in: All of the people of the United States, all classes below the 1%, are more Powerful than the 1%. And voting is a chance to prove it. Even on the chance that all of it is staged and my vote doesn’t matter. I’m done hiding behind that belief. If we all decided not to vote, if that was our way of standing together, it would be even easier for higher ups to bring whomever they want into office.
What if it does matter? And I was letting the higher ups take my power when I decided it doesn’t? So that it’s easier for them to sway the vote. The best way to heal a system is to work it from the inside out. It’s like wearing a mask to the store. Yes, this virus that’s rampant right now may not be as widely spread as news stations make it out to be, that’s a high possibility. And what if you could save a life by putting on a mask? Would you do it? Even if you don’t know for sure? Even if all the evidence is compiled against you? I would. I do.
Glennon Doyle posted a video a few days ago inviting voters to educate themselves on the voting process. She said something along the lines of, “When your house is burning, the first thing you do isn’t to decide where your new house is gonna be. The first thing you do is get out of the burning house.” Trump is the burning house. And we won’t be able to stand another four years. We being: mostly small businesses. It’s time to put our power together, and (I can’t believe I’m saying this) Vote for the lesser of two evils. Then go from there. This action, to me, puts the power into the people. Even if we only believe we have the power, it gives us momentum to keep going. To keep fighting within the system. To be of the world. For the children, for Humanity. I’m putting my faith in the power of the (smart)people. It’s scary as fuck, I still have doubts, I see all the errors of each candidate, it may turn out to be a bad decision, but for me, this action..is better than no action at all. I no longer sit on the bench and wait for things to play out, and I hope you don’t either. I really believe anything is better than trump and if I don’t vote, well.. I’m not even gonna finish that sentence. Don’t be afraid of your power.
Here’s what you can do to put it into practice: follow Glennon Doyle on Instagram and/or Facebook. She is educating us on the voting system and special specifics in states. Education = Power. Healthy Power. Please, if I can go from a high functioning conspiracy theorist who’s gotten tear gassed by people in uniform at a peaceful protest to (still believing most conspiracies) going on the sure will of the good of the people and voting for a top running democrat, you can do anything.. Like Vote. And don’t worry, we’ll still overthrow corrupt agendas in the process. Group think. Together we stand. It’s time to use those words to our advantage.