Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Vote. It's worth the hassle.

Election Day is August 7th and I am really hoping you'll take the time to go to the polls and vote "YES" for your county's art authority. Because that would mean that the Detroit Institute of Arts gets to remain open, and Detroit doesn't get one more kick in the face while the city is already down and struggling to get back up. I know a lot of people are economically strapped right now, but $15 a year to keep the DIA going will do a lot of good for the city, the region, and the state as a whole. It's worth it. 

Considering how shamefully low voter turn out is in general elections, I'm worried about the turn out for this primary. It's clear to me that voting in and of itself is considered a hassle and a chore by most citizens. And I don't say that to shame people. It is a hassle and a chore. You have to take time out of your work day to go to a dirty elementary school gymnasium, stand in line, then wait while the old people try to find your name in their trapper keeper. Then you're instructed to connect lines on an eye-crossingly busy ballot asking you to vote for all these people for tons of different offices and on ballot measures that are written in long, dense paragraphs seemingly worded to confuse the ever living hell out of you. I consider myself politically astute, and I feel anxious and like I don't know what I'm doing each time I vote. I'm not surprised so many people avoid the whole mess and stay home. But it's a shame, and it shouldn't be this way.

Voting is a right that we should all cherish, etc. It is the cornerstone of democracy. Yes. Somewhere inside we all know this. But it's more than a little disheartening to see the jackasses we elect show little to no concern for how few of their constituents actually exercise that right. To me, that's the crisis. Instead, Republicans work their asses off to make voting harder because they are terrified a black person dog might vote, while Democrats seem to be perfectly happy with the outdated status quo. Neither is justifiable, and both positions are hurting the quality of democracy and leadership in this country.

Despite my frustration and pessimism, I still vote. And I encourage you to do it as well. So August 7th, you go to that dirty elementary school gymnasium and exercise the shit out of your right by voting "YES" to keep the DIA open. It's worth the hassle.

UPDATE: There's a pre-election day rally to save the DIA today at 5:30pm. It's at New Center Park in Detroit. Sounds like fun! More info here.

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