Why Your Apathy And Your Rights Are Not Compatible

I know I’ve said this before, but you cannot afford to not vote in this year’s election.

The American political system has a lot of flaws.  I understand that.  I work in Washington DC, I have friends who lobby and friends who work on the Hill; I have seen more angles of the mess in Washington than I care to think about.  And all of those angles are looking at a mess.  But just because these problems exist doesn’t mean we get to say “screw it” and give up completely, because this system is still dictating what happens to us.

So if you are sitting there in your living room or at a library or during a class you hate or at work or at Starbucks reading this blog and you’re thinking “Congress’ crap has nothing to do with me” or “I can’t make a difference in this presidential race”, guess what?  You don’t know if your vote will or won’t matter.  But if EVERYONE thought that way, then NO ONE would vote, and we would have the crappiest politicians of all time.

I’m not going to start babbling on about my politics, because none of you care, but there is something you might not have realized about this election, and it has to do with a group of people we can’t even elect: the Supreme Court.  You’ve heard of them, right?  They just upheld Obamacare, which means that ladies, you are no longer a pre-existing condition (that’s right, pregnancy/the potential to get pregnant is a pre-existing condition.  Or it used to be).  And they also get to make massively important decisions regarding things like abortion.

“But Randi, abortion is legal, Roe v Wade” might be what you’re thinking.  And sure, it’s legal…for now.  But open your eyes: states are passing 20 week abortion bans like it’s the hottest trend in misogyny.  And it kind of is, because then abortion TECHNICALLY isn’t illegal…you just don’t have enough time to realize you’re pregnant, weigh the costs, and make a sound decision…and some of these bans don’t even have exceptions for pregnancies that could endanger the health of the mother (which I’m pretty sure is illegal under international law, for the record).

The thing is, something like 3 members of the Supreme Court will likely retire and need to be replaced in the next 4 years.  That means that whomever the next president is will be able to construct the court in a way that enables his party, his views, to be represented by the majority.

And I personally would prefer if that president were a supporter of women’s and LGBTQ rights.

Look, DOMA is going to turn up before the court sooner or later.  And abortion is going to end up in front of the court again eventually.  Supreme Court justices serve for LIFE, people.  We can’t just vote them out and their terms will not just expire-~-they have to retire or actually pass away.  So the people that whomever the next president appoints will be there to shape our politics for a long time.

We won’t always have SCOTUS, folks.

So think about what that means for you.  For your rights.  Because I personally like my rights.  I’m a really big fan of them.  And I DEFINITELY do not want a Supreme Court filled with pro-life, anti-woman, homophobic, transphobic justices making decisions about the America I live in.  That’s my body, that’s my life, and those are my RIGHTS.

You can’t AFFORD not to care this year.  So if you’re over 18, and you are a US citizen, you can click here to register to vote.

It is going to take you ten minutes.  Ten minutes to say who you want in charge of this country.  Who you want holding the pen when it comes time to sign or veto the bills that Congress tries to put through.  Who you want selecting the next Supreme Court justices.

I’m not going to tell you whom to vote for.  That’s your decision.  But before you vote, do some research.  Look at what the candidates have said about the issues that you care about most-~-and if it’s the economy, remember that economies take TIME to recover, and that either way, a candidate who is not willing to play ball with tax changes and talk about making some tough decisions is not a candidate who can save our economy anyway.  Partisanship will not fix our problems.  But whomever you vote for, whatever you decide, make a decision.

Because this is your life, and those are your rights, and these are the people who control them.

 

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~ by Randi Saunders on July 21, 2012.

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