Untalented political hacks don’t want you to vote

Racists and their cynical allies once charged people to vote. Why? Because it’s worth it.

I’m sure it baffles everyone why I get so indignant about people who don’t vote, are ambivalent about those who do, and even argue against it. (My emotions about this certainly caught Mike Rowe off-guard.)

This quote from an story on NPR about Ohio’s special Congressional race results is what chews my tin foil about people who don’t bother to vote:

President Trump campaigned for Balderson, a 56-year-old state senator, this past weekend in an effort to energize the GOP base, but some Republicans worried that the president’s appearance could have had an adverse effect by motivating voters who don’t like Trump to come out for O’Connor. Still, it appears as though the president was able to energize enough rural voters to turn out to blunt advantages that O’Connor had in the more urban and suburban areas of the district.

There is an entire industry of politicos whose high-paying job is to convince you not to vote. Our entire political field has been determined by only the kind of rabid wingnuts who bother to vote in primaries. Campaign managers know that it’s easier to scare normal people away from voting than to communicate what’s good about their otherwise unelectable candidates.

The only way to solve this problem–and get political science majors back to flipping burgers–is to be a voter. Being a voter means voting in primaries, special elections, mid-terms, local and state elections, and then presidential elections.

Anyone can vote when it’s the issue du jour; a voter, however, shapes the future of their government at all levels, fulfilling Lincoln’s description of what so many Union soldiers gave their lives for: a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

But, soaring rhetoric aside, be a voter because untalented people punching way over their weight don’t want you to vote regularly. Then they might have to work for a living.

Playing at war

Some time around 1988? ’89? Anyway, at the tail end of the ’80s during Ronald Reagan’s third term, I and the other kids on my street in the San Antonio suburbs went to war. We formed armies based on existing affiliations and began an agreed upon build up.

My Mexican friends and I two doors down started building a fort because they always had lumber and I had a hammer and saw. This mighty construction effort consisted of stacking the lumber, halfway sawing through some pieces before getting tired, and hammering a few nails in because, hey, we had a hammer.

The girls, being wise, built bows and arrows out of sticks and shiny metallic elastic that never quite worked as advertised. As they practiced, they more threw the arrows throw a hoop more than knocked and let fly.

The white boys, however, already had all they needed and combined their mighty stockpiles of Rambo-themed camouflage and toy guns. I don’t remember if the war was their idea, but they had certainly prepared for it their entire young lives, parading around with their weapons since time immemorial.

After so many days or weeks of buildup, the white boys launched their attack on our fort. I wound up on top of our “ramparts” as my next door neighbor swung his heavy wooden and metal rifle at my legs.

It’s important to note that, unlike today’s brightly-colored plastic Nerf guns, toy guns back then were heavy, made of wood and metal, with only a plastic orange cap at the end to distinguish them from the real thing.

So, with no weapon of my own, I kicked him in the face.

All guns dropped. All whoops and ululations ceased as kids evaluated just how much trouble they were in based on proximity to the crying kid in a headband. And then they all scattered, leaving their bawling MIA to slowly cry his way home.

I don’t remember how severely my parents punished me, but I know I took a lot of heat for it. So it goes, though.