Please vote today!
I’ve been hesitant to post anything about the election here on my blog, in part because I’m really busy with writing right now, and in part because I’m timid and don’t like to invite controversy here on my personal site. Also, I was raised to believe that voting decisions were a private matter. Anyway, I think people familiar with my work will already have a pretty good idea where I stand, and will be fans of other people who’ve made the case quite eloquently.
But today’s election is so important that I had to say something. A healthy democracy depends on informed voters participating in the process. We’re not spectators, we’re the decision-makers, and when too few of us participate, the decisions that get made tend to be bad for the rest of us. And those decisions need to be careful and informed, because an election is a job interview, not a popularity contest. And this may be the single most important election of our lifetimes. Even from a climate-change perspective alone, the fate of the world may be literally at stake today — or at least whether the optimistic futures I like to write about will ever be plausible.
Even if it weren’t so pivotal this time, it’s always important to vote, and to be an informed voter, learning about the issues and candidates rather than just letting rhetoric, partisanship, and propaganda guide you. It’s work, yes, but democracy is like adulthood — with great freedom comes great responsibility. If we don’t do the work, we don’t get the benefits of independence. And not only for the big races, but all the way down the line. The local races, particularly for things like school boards and juvenile court judges, are just as important to our everyday lives as the big stuff that gets national attention.
So please vote, and vote carefully.