Things to Remember on Election Day

Today is Election Day, a day where we celebrate our freedoms and go out and vote. We vote for change if we are unhappy. We vote to keep things the same if we are. With a simple stroke, everything can potentially change because of your vote. It’s a heavy burden to carry, when you think about it. But it is one you shouldn’t take lightly. People fought your right to vote and other countries may not offer you those same freedoms. But you know what? You also have the right not to. But don’t complain if things don’t go your way if you decided against voting.

That being said, I’d like you to remember a few things today.

Not Everyone Votes the Same Way… And That’s Okay

Probably easily the most important point I am going to make. I promise, your world won’t end if your friends and family don’t vote the same way as you. You can still be friends, it’s okay. It’s very hypocritical to tout American freedoms and patriotism while bashing someone else for how they vote.

It’s actually quite amazing how this works. There’s this thing called “political discourse”, where people calmly discuss their political views without the other spouting hateful insults that the other party wants you to say. Believe it or not, once upon the time people could talk politics without calling the other person a “libtard” or “racist”. In fact, in those amazing times people often would come to a logical point where the other side would hear you and see things from another perspective that makes them change their minds. Even more amazing, if they didn’t they would still be friends. It’s crazy, right?

Don’t Be a Jerk

But Brianne, didn’t you just cover this point? This is one of those points that needs to be emphasized. It still shocks disgusts me at how bad things have gotten. Any logical person can see that we are worse to each other than ever. We are more divisive than ever. The hate-fueled vitriol is spewed from both sides. “But Obama started it”. “But Trump started it”. As something that every mother has screamed repeatedly at their kids: I don’t care who started it, you need to end it. Did things get bad under Obama? Sure. Did things get a hell of a lot worse now? Abso-freaking-lutely. Why? Because rather than stopping it, both sides are going bat-poop crazy trying to out insane the other side. And they wonder why so many independents avoid politics? And they wonder why so many people have started to consider 3rd party options, thus hurting elections because we live off of an out-dated 2-party system that only seems in control to further brainwash the masses? I needed to take a deep breath after that one.

I will make a complete rundown on how you can not be a jerk today.

“Vote on Tuesday if you’re a Republican; Vote Wednesday if you’re a Democrat.”

This isn’t being clever; this is being a jerk. You must feel pretty proud of  yourself for coming up with that, despite the fact I have seen this exactly phrasing probably 100x since yesterday. I’m sure the Democrats have said this too, but every time I have seen it over the past couple of days it has been a Republican to do this. It’s dumb. It’s not funny. What if a person is new to voting? That’s called “voter suppression”. You’re being divisive and unoriginal. And being a jerk. This genuinely makes me angry to hear it, because this is exactly what I’m talking about when it comes to how divisive we are.

“Vote Democrat if you’re not a discriminatory racist.”

I can assure you there are plenty of non-Democrats who aren’t racist or discriminate. However, I can assure you that saying that exact phrasing actually makes you a discriminatory jerk. I didn’t just vote Democrat, and I’m certainly not a racist. I voted for a couple Republicans, I fully support Governor Baker, and I voted for a Libertarian for State Auditor. I voted for some Democrats. I voted for people who I liked for the job (or really the best option I was given). How you vote doesn’t automatically make you a racist any more than it makes you an idiot snowflake. Crazy, right? (Yes, I’ll probably say this a few more times. No promises that I won’t.)

“If you vote Republican, you hate women.”

Here me out. Republicans don’t “hate” women. There are people who make crude and discriminatory remarks who are also Republican, but I refuse to make a sweeping generalization about the party as a whole or any group for that matter. If those people are saying cruel and hateful things about women or anyone else, they should be voted out individually based on that. But it’s always a bad idea to lump the entire tree with a few bad apples. You may be surprised at what other apples may be on that tree.

“Snowflake libtards should just stay home on Election Day.”

It has been my observation that the people who are most likely to use the phrases “snowflake” or “libtard” are generally an overly-sensitive unreasonable person themselves. They are the equivalent of the people they are making fun of. Think about that next time you say this phrase or one similar.

Don’t Be a Jerk

I cannot stress this enough. It’s pretty easy to not be a jerk, I promise. Instead of berating someone for how they voted, understand why they voted that way. More often than not, you may be surprised at what you find out. And if their answer is just because someone had the right letter next to their name? The problem isn’t them; it’s the divisive world we live in where people are happy to follow like lemmings rather than form their own opinion. The world created those voters and unfortunately they won’t change. So you can change how you view them or you can bite your tongue because that is much better and easier than just being a jerk. Crazy… right?

 

 

 

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Pondering Question #1

In my last election day post, I passionately discussed Question 3 and what it meant. It was easy to write about that one. I’m very passionate about a person’s basic human right to dignity. I’m very passionate about supporting the rights of the LGBT community. I could write 1000 posts on why transgender discrimination is something that is a big problem. I’m also against fearmongering. So, I was eager to explain what the yes or no vote meant on Question 3. Here is the post, in case you were interested. I also promised that I would address the other questions on the ballot. There are only 3 this year, so it isn’t too bad.

Well… except that I’m still not 100% clear on what I’m going to do about Question 1. What this law aims to do is to limit the amount of patients that are assigned to registered nurses. There are a lot of complexities to this law, as seen here. By voting “Yes” on Question 1, you are voting for officials to regulate how many patients a nurse is responsible for while a “No” vote changes nothing. It seems pretty straight forward.

The problem for me is that I see both sides of it. More personalized care is better for the patient. This could help prevent mistakes. This helps nurses better do their jobs, which is not just about being a medical professional but a caring and empathetic professional that can take care of their patients on a deeper level than a doctor often will. My best friends are in the medical field: one is a nurse and one will be (but may as well be one already). I know no matter what, they will help me through anything. And I know that this is something that they share with every one of their patients. Nurses are more than the glorified secretaries and assistants to doctors like you see on television. They are on the front lines every day, making every patient feel as comfortable as they possibly can be. They certainly deserve a lot more credit than they seem to get. I feel like this will also help to ensure that patients get the attention that they need, which can only help to save lives.

I also see the downsides. I don’t like forcing a lot of regulations, though I’m not so against them that I don’t see the need for them in a lot of cases. A nurse should know their own personal limits. Everyone has their own limits. Some are capable of taking on more patients while still offering stellar care while others may not be able to. It doesn’t mean that one nurse is better than the other. I can only handle so many article assignments every day, but that doesn’t mean that I’m a terrible writer (Maybe a bad example). I just know the limit before my work becomes a hot mess. Letting nurses make this decision for themselves on a case by case basis could be a much better approach. There is also the fact that this could easily cause wait times to increase and for costs to rise. Maybe if the millionaires running the hospital took a cut, they could afford the nurses without making patients pay more. However, they are greedy and like being multi-millionaires who run a business. Because to them, a hospital is a business.

Since I can completely get both sides of the argument, I’m completely lost. I’m a logical person, but I feel like the flaw here is that the logical choice is going to get ruined by people. Because people ruin everything. I’ll gladly listen to arguments on both sides to help me come to a decision, but it may be a gut instinct vote as I get into the election booth.