Do you remember when you were young and you cared about things? I find myself thinking a lot about Younger Me lately. I was politically engaged, well-informed, and most importantly I gave a damn. I had an interest in the way the world turned out, and I was willing to put an effort in to make things happen.
In 2016, I sat around a television set with my closest friends in Sacramento drinking quite a lot of well-aged whiskey as they announced that Donald Trump would be President of the United friggin’ States. It seemed surreal at the time. My lady friends were in tears, and honestly I might have been, too (it really was a lot of whiskey).
I ‘m pretty sure that I had already started checking out of the political world at that point, but this certainly didn’t help things. My faith in the American people was shaken, and I all but stopped paying any real attention.
Now here we are, 25 days from a midterm election, and like many other Americans, I’m pumped about voting again. According to a Pew Research poll conducted last month, 67% of Democrats and 59% of Republicans say they’re more enthusiastic about voting than usual. I would feel more optimistic about those numbers if Mitch McConnell wasn’t saying that the Kavanaugh hearings have “been a great political gift” for the Republicans. Historically, the Republicans are better at riding talking points into midterm victories, while Democrats get bogged down in the details.
The Pew Research Center also notes that Democrats are more politically active than the Republicans right now, with 22% of Democrats saying that they’ve been to a political event in the past year, versus just 8% of Republicans. That’s great and all, but in all likelihood every single one of those people was going to vote anyway. None of the people going to fundraisers and meet-and-greets are or have ever been on the fence. Those people know how they’re going to vote before the candidates are even announced in most cases.
The real task is getting everybody who isn’t going to rallies to actually show up on election day. This year’s primaries were promising, in that there was a 56% increase in the number of people who voted in them as compared to 2014’s midterms. Still, that only amounts to 19.6% of registered voters who did their damn jobs as citizens.
My point is, if you’re truly upset by what’s been going on in the news and in your country, do yourself a favor and vote on November 6th. Better yet, tell your friends to vote, too. Join Current Me and Younger Me in giving a damn, so we can all stop feeling perpetually frustrated and angry when we read, watch, or listen to the news.