Reasoning with Madness
"This is a barbaric yawp, and it will be sounded over the roofs of the world."
Thanks to Oregon, I voted by mail again this year for the primary. Like I have for 24 years, since the first election I got to vote in when I was 18 (I voted for Ross Perot for Prez HA!)
But as I get older - like many of us - I take a closer look at the down ballots, as those have direct impact on my life and surroundings.
Hunter Thompson said politics is the art of controlling your environment. Voting is essential to that process. Lots of local initiatives and candidates to learn about and make a wise choice. Many, not things you want to take lightly or go in blind on.
We all know who the presidential nominee is but I still voted for Bernie, because it doesn't matter who you vote for when the nominee is already chosen. But the local initiatives, mayor elections, etc, those will be the most easily impactful on me. So I vote like a motherfucker in those elections.
Personally, I believe there should be WAY more voting on WAY more shit. Constant voting. Making it easy for everyone. Vote by phone, have an app, send text alerts and updates on ever aspect of society. Sure the beta tests will be ugly, but we refine everything as time goes on.
The reason it was never done before was because the tech didn't exist for the founders to even consider. It's time for an upgrade. Anyone who says otherwise is trying to rig an election in their favor. Vote by mail should be the way Americans cast their ballot. And in the future, we should be able to vote much easier than even that, and far more often.
But I digress.
Thanks to vote by mail, I set aside a few hours a couple weeks ago (long before the deadline) to sit down at my computer and research literally every candidate and measure. I read all the voter pamphlet information, read the local news, went to websites (when there were any) and often ran into a very significant hole in coverage for much of this. Dug into social feeds, forums, financial backing, opposition tactics, who plays clean, who plays dirty, who doesn't even play at all. I studied the advertisement approach of the candidates who spent money (most don't in this smaller primaries) and took note of those who sent nothing out.
I'm not saying everyone should do that. I'm just saying it's nice that we can.
The fact that I could do this research while I'm sitting down with my ballot is the game changer. From the comfort of my own home, with all the time in the world, I could make an informed choice on various measures and positions that will have a very real impact on my environment, based on data and information. And when I'm done, I just toss the paper vote in the envelope it comes with, sign it, and handed off in the mail, and my votes already secured. Sure, I've heard super paranoid people say, "Well how do you know it's really counted?" At which point, if I'm asking that question, I might as well join the flat earthers and fake newsers and check out of reality for good.
But Oregon is in the minority when it comes to mail-in voting. More states still do it the old school way, where you have to rush down after work, or on a lunch break, waiting in line (maybe in the rain, but now with at least a mask on), hopefully before they close, going into a gymnasium or VFW hall full of weird church confessional style "booths" that are being run by old grannies and WWII vets where you would need a cheat sheet with you that you made ahead of time, to make the same decisions.
Yeah. I'm good.
Voting by mail rules. Tell your friends.
And fuck anyone who says otherwise.
Who Am I?
I am Ahab.