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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Just a Girl’s Opinion on Question 3

I don’t like to get too political here. Why? Because I have enough stress in my life, I don’t need randos on the internet telling me what I think and why I’m wrong in an aggressive manner. If people were more polite, engaging in thought-provoking discourse rather than slinging whatever awful words first pour from their mouths, I’d consider it. Sure, I broadly discuss things without the intention of convincing people to think like me. I don’t voter-information-2018want people to think like me. I want people think. For themselves. Without caring about what other people think.

Today may be the day that I change that. Yesterday, we received our election year booklet of information: the Massachusetts Information for Voters booklet. The one that discusses what’s going to be on the ballot and the for and against arguments for each question. While I keep debating whether or not I’m going to do a series on these with my opinions (OPINIONS, not facts. These are 2 very different concepts.), I had to say something about Question 3:   A subject that I feel very passionately about and will stand up for every single time.

To brief people who may not be aware of it, Question 3 addresses Transgender Discrimination (rather, Anti-Discrimination). Unlike most questions, something that I think was made to confuse voters purposefully to deceive them, a “Yes” vote actually leaves the current law alone. The “No” vote undoes a very important piece of this law: prohibiting discrimination against Transgender individuals. In short: If you feel as though people should use the bathroom for the gender they identify as, then you want to vote “Yes”. If not, you want to vote “No”.

I know how I very clearly stand on this topic, so I could have utterly convinced someone who doesn’t agree with me to vote a certain way through misleading text. Instead, I clearly expressed that “Yes” keeps the bill as is, while “No” repeals this anti-discrimination section. See? I did it again.

If you have followed my blog, you know how I stand on the issue. (See: It’s All About the Bathrooms) I’m very much pro-itsnoneofmydamnbusiness. If no one is getting hurt and it doesn’t have any effect on me, I really don’t even think about it. Am I pro-life? Absolutely. Would I get an abortion? Not a chance because it’s not something that I could do unless there was some very extreme circumstance. Will I judge someone who does? Absolutely not. It’s not my business. I support the right to choose because I thought that being American, you had freedoms or something.

mvimg_20181002_075413I bring this up because I did the responsible thing. I read the booklet. I read the laws in great detail. I closely read the for and against arguments to help. I have never, ever had the reaction that I did when I read the “Against” argument for Question 3. Yes, I have included it here. I was incredulous. Stunned. Normally the arguments are articulate, straightforward about facts. This was hate and fear mongering. The “In Favor” argument was dripping in sarcasm, saying phrases that I would have used like “Sexual assault is already illegal”, “lets transgender people use the bathroom, which we all need to use”. I’m in complete awe over this “Against”. Complete. What does waxing have to do with using a bathroom? If a person doesn’t feel comfortable waxing a body part on another person, that’s their choice. See, freedoms. I don’t understand what that has to do with a trans woman sitting in a stall, doing their business while minding their own business.

First of all, I’m pretty sure a sex offender doesn’t care about things like “laws”. Otherwise, they probably wouldn’t be on a sex offender list. Unless they weren’t caught. Unfortunately, there are no “sex offender” only bathrooms. They do know that men/women can sexually assault people of the same gender, right? So this law wouldn’t affect that. In fact, had an incident happened where a trans woman assaulted another woman in the bathroom, I’m sure it would have gone national as a way to show just how dangerous transgender people who need to pee really are.

I have made this argument before. Should there be “LGBT” bathrooms, ones that are separate but equal? That is something that has worked very well in the past and I’m sure we should seriously consider this. (Total sarcasm, in case you didn’t get that.) Obviously all transgender women are into women since men can only be into women, so this is a very serious issue. Since that’s the case, maybe lesbian women shouldn’t be in the bathrooms with straight women either because who knows what’s going to happen. They may share… lipstick. The horror! Can you catch trans like you can catch gay, through touch or a fabulous shade of red lipstick?

I will fight for people to live their lives in a peaceful manner every time. I fully support the LGBT community. I fully support my friends and family within it. I’m voting “Yes” on Question 3. I don’t care how you vote; I just want you to be aware of facts not someone telling you scary (and ridiculous) stories for the intention of deceiving you based on their own personal bias.

 

They Tell Me It’s Voter Registration Day

I have been registered to vote since I was 18. Our civics teacher, I’m not even sure what the name of the class actually was but it was a popular one for the seniors, handed out voter registration forms to class. Prior to that, we took a quiz about our political ideals to see where we fell in the grand scheme of Republicans and Democrats. I, not surprisingly, fell someplace in the middle of the void though it seemed I leaned more left due to my stance on “social issues”. That obviously meant I had to register as a Democrat as a young almost 18 year old. He handed out the registration papers to the class to take the knowledge that we had just learned from that ideology quiz to register to vote. If you weren’t 18 yet, the registration would kick in on your birthday. It did. Maybe a week after I turned 18, I got my card in the mail to confirm that I was now a registered voter. I’m pretty sure I said “cool”, then threw it away. I didn’t vote in that first election, or the first several after that.

For a long while, I didn’t understand the need to vote. My 1 vote didn’t matter. In Massachusetts, even if I wanted to vote for a Republican candidate, my vote ultimately wouldn’t have mattered. The state 9/10 times goes Democrat anyways. My voice wasn’t there to be heard. My first election I even bothered with was when Obama was first running for president. There wasn’t anything too significant about it, but I felt pressured by everyone to go to the voting booth. It would be an experience at least, so I did it. I nervously entered into the booth and was clueless as to what was going on. I didn’t know much about Obama, but I knew that there was something about Sarah Palin that I didn’t like and that I thought McCain was up there in age, so I didn’t want her as president. But I didn’t know anything about Obama either. Biden seemed like a cool dude, and I decided to go with that. So I did.

It wasn’t until after that first election that I decided to actually care about voting. Things mattered more. I knew my ideals. I quickly learned that no one else in politics does, only voting where the money tells them too or who whatever news channel they watch tells them to vote. It was  still is pretty disgusting to me. I decided from then on that I would only  vote my conscience, because I wanted to be okay with myself and my choices. I vote across party lines, voting for the person I honestly could back. I wanted to believe my defense of voting for a politician, not stuttering over talking points someone told me to say. Soon, I realized that I didn’t want to back a political party. I didn’t vote for Trump or Clinton. I thought they were both shady criminals that had no business representing our country. Turns out, I was probably right on both fronts even if no one wants to take their blinders off to see that.

I don’t want to support a party that sweeps things like violence against women under the rug. I don’t want to support any party that tells me if someone is one way, I should hate them (spoiler: I’m referring to both of them). I don’t want to support a party that believes guns have more rights than people do. I don’t want to support a party that is more concerned with celebrity star power than it is about doing the right thing. I don’t want to support A party.

I’m completely against the 2 party system, which has only caused harm to this country. Today, on National Register to Vote day, I’m changing my current affiliation to Independent. I’m not the Democratic party of today. I’m not the Republican party of today. These 2 parties just want power, not change. They want to tell us what to do with our lives, based on their own ideals not ours. They are life-long politicians who are more concerned with lining their pockets than being concerned with the people who voted for them. The only way that this will change is if WE change it. I choose to be the Independent party of tomorrow, which is exactly what this country needs. They need more people to stand up, not more to follow them blindly as they take us to a place I have no desire in going.