I DID vote this year. Buuuuuut? It took some effort to convince myself to do so.
If most other young liberals feel the same way I do, that explains much of the low voter turnout, which in turn goes some way to explain many of the left-wing losses. I just…had nothing to get excited about in this election. Even now, I look at my fellow lefties wringing their hands about the election results, and I’m just like, “…meh.”
Like, here in Maryland we have a new Republican governor. Other MD liberals are getting all upset and surprised. I don’t see why they’re surprised. We’re not THAT liberal a state. We’re basically a handful of densely populated, liberal jurisdictions and a whole lot of rural, conservative ones. O’Malley’s predecessor, Bob Ehrlich, was a Repub, and I’m not a fan of the guy, but we survived. Maryland has had Republican governors before, and we’re still here. Of course I’d rather have more like O’Malley and fewer like Ehrlich, but my point is that the Bob Ehrlichs have happened and will continue to happen. Governor-Elect Hogan can thank all the apathetic liberals who couldn’t be bothered to vote this year for his victory.
I asked myself in 2012 whether it was worth the trouble to vote. I figured: my state is going to go for Obama with or without me, so what difference does my vote make? (Non-voters are sort of like anti-vaxxers that way; we depend on other people doing what we don’t want to.) What got me to the polls then was the state ballot initiative Question 6, which legalized same-sex marriage. Every single vote counted for the ballot initiative, so I dragged my ass to the polls, and I was pleased as punch to find out that not only did my state approve marriage equality by popular vote, but my county was among the districts that broke for Yes. Just barely! But that just proves the point! My vote counted.
But this year? There just wasn’t anything going on that really got me excited for the election. I didn’t even see Lt. Gov. Brown’s campaign for Governor of Maryland, and I’m hearing now that he ran a really weak campaign. I’ll have to take their word for it, as whatever campaign he did run didn’t even reach me, and sure enough, he lost. It didn’t get liberals excited enough to drag their asses to the polls.
This year, there was nothing happening that I genuinely cared about. Ultimately, I remembered that the people who vote for the losing side are still counted, and so no matter what happened, my vote would mean something to someone. President Obama is aware of the percentage of the electorate who voted for McCain and Romney, and Gov. Hogan will be aware of the number of Marylanders who voted for Brown. I have no idea how that knowledge will affect his governance, but it’s still important that he knows how many people voted for the other guy. There are people who keep track of how many people voted for what and whom. Those numbers are a matter of public record. The losing side still counts. Always.
The point of this post, though, is that I do understand why some people, sometimes, don’t bother to vote. We need to have something to vote for. The left wing, this year, didn’t show us something worth fighting for.
Left-wing politicians: up your game.