VOTE! Anyone saying otherwise is at best misinformed and at worst malicious.
I am long past the point of simple pleasantries. For years I have allowed in my presence idiots who claim they are politically and socially informed spew lies about our political system. I too often took the approach that “they believe what they want to believe, and I will never change it.” But that considerate act has made me complicit in one of the most horrific deceits in our history. And I am fucking done.
Democrats and Republicans aren’t the same. They never were.
Former-New York Governor Mario Cuomo laid out the two American parties’ core differences best in his 1984 Democratic Convention speech, A Tale of Two Cities:
The difference between Democrats and Republicans has always been measured in courage and confidence. The Republicans—The Republicans believe that the wagon train will not make it to the frontier unless some of the old, some of the young, some of the weak are left behind by the side of the trail. “The strong—The strong,” they tell us, “will inherit the land.”
We, Democrats, believe in something else. We Democrats believe that we can make it all the way with the whole family intact, and we have more than once. Ever since Franklin Roosevelt lifted himself from his wheelchair to lift this nation from its knees—wagon train after wagon train—to new frontiers of education, housing, peace; the whole family aboard, constantly reaching out to extend and enlarge that family; lifting them up into the wagon on the way; blacks and Hispanics, and people of every ethnic group, and native Americans—all those struggling to build their families and claim some small share of America. For nearly 50 years, we carried them all to new levels of comfort, and security, and dignity, even affluence. And remember this, some of us in this room today are here only because this nation had that kind of confidence. And it would be wrong to forget that. So, here we are at this convention to remind ourselves where we come from and to claim the future for ourselves and for our children. Today our great Democratic Party, which has saved this nation from depression, from fascism, from racism, from corruption, is called upon to do it again—this time to save the nation from confusion and division, from the threat of eventual fiscal disaster, and most of all from the fear of a nuclear holocaust.
In 2020 the differences between Democrats and Republicans have never been more apparent, and saying they are the same is just plain stupid.
The Democrats believe in expanding healthcare, including securing universal health care through a public option, investing more in medical research to come up with a cure for Alzheimer’s, cancer, and AIDS, a women’s right to choose, gender equality, same-sex marriage, and allowing same-sex couples to adopt legally. They believe in trans rights (including serving in the Military), and the right not to be discriminated against and fired from your job because of your gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, or religious beliefs. The Democrats believe in immigration (including Muslims) and providing a pathway to citizenship for over 11 million undocumented, including DACA recipients. They believe in science and what they see with their own eyes: that climate change is real and wearing a mask can save lives.
The Democrats believe in guaranteeing universal early childhood education, investing more in K-12 schools, making higher education affordable, paying teachers more, including investing in more Black and Brown teachers, providing borrowers relief from student debt, and providing our children with the technology and wifi that so many cannot afford. They also believe in providing free breakfast and lunch and housing for the millions of children living in poverty. The Democrats have always believed in affordable housing.
The Democrats want to overturn the Citizen United decision, which eased restrictions on corporate and union campaign spending. Speaking of unions, the Democrats are pro-union. THAT IS NOT A BAD THING! They want to raise the minimum wage nationally, promote worker’s rights, and enact robust work-family policies. Yes, paid maternity and paternity leave. Yes, pay for those who have to take time off from work to take care of an aging parent or grandparent. They want to level the economic playing field by reforming the tax code to benefit working families, curbing wall street abuses, protecting consumer rights and privacy, and tackling runaway corporate concentration.
The Democrats want to protect America’s Civil Rights including achieving racial justice and quality, women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights, disability rights, honoring indigenous Tribal Nations, ending violence against women, and the epidemic of gun violence. They want to pass, protect and enforce voting rights, reform the broken campaign finance system, strengthen the U.S. Postal Service, making Washington D.C. the 51st State, and guarantee self-determination for Puerto Rico.
And unlike the Republicans, The Democrats can say Black Lives Matter. And they have no problem admitting that we need police reform in this country, and we must invest more in our communities, especially our schools, including after-school programs, our healthcare, and our parks. They also have no problem speaking the truth that COVID-19 impacted Black and Brown communities at disproportionate rates and we must address it.
The Republicans do not support the above, and if they do, we do not know that they do, because this year, they did not release their party platform. All we hear is what we hear from the leader of their party, the pussy-grabbing, cognitive-testing, dictator-loving, calling the end of slavery “always questionable” President who calls our military members “losers” and “suckers” (they are not) and insists Black and Brown people are causing chaos in our cities and suburbs (they are not) and has called the first Black president and who may be the first Black vice president “insults to our country” (they re not).
Your vote always matters.
Yes, even if you live in a strictly blue or red state. Those who say otherwise are at best misinformed and at worst malicious. Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris said it best when she recently questioned, “Why don’t they want us to vote? Why are they creating obstacles to us voting?”
If our vote doesn’t matter, why are people spending tens of millions of dollars (often our tax-dollars) in our federal court systems to make it harder for us to vote? Why is one party trying their damnest to prevent Black, Brown, and young people from voting? Why is it that it has to be NBA players who must strike to make it easier for Black Americans to vote in this country?
The Washington Post has an interactive you can play around with that shows if Joe Biden wins over just once percent of White swing voters, he would flip four states and capture 307 electoral votes. If Black turnout raches the same rate (8% higher than 2016) as it did in 2012, Joe Biden would flip three states and would win the presidency.
Okay, but what if I live in New York or California? Hate to break it to you, you lazy fucks, your vote still matters. Let’s go back in time a bit to early 2017. During the first months of Donald Trump’s presidency, the thing that riled him the most was that he lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes. It also prevented him from claiming the mandate that usually comes from when someone wins by a lot.
But let’s face it, voting isn’t just about the President. Depending on your district, you can also be voting for your Sheriff, your judge, your kids’ school superintendent, your district attorney, and your city council member who can help you secure permits, fill in potholes, and help your small business receive economic relief during a pandemic.
Your vote matters. It always had mattered. That is why so many people before us fought for the right to vote, and so many today are fighting for the right to vote. And it is why so many don’t want you to vote.
So, please, please, please vote. Don’t listen to idiots.
You can check your registration, register to vote, and request a mail ballot here: https://iwillvote.com/