Discussion Fuel Politics

Look Down at the Ballot, Not Your Neighbors

On this Election Day, I’d like to ask that everyone, including my liberal friends, not contribute to an atmosphere that denigrates those unable to vote.

There are a number of forces aligned to deny people the right to vote, whether it’s the more obvious and malicious means like voter ID laws and shrinking the number of polling places, or the more subtle things like the circumstances of their work situation, their disabilities, their home life, their inability to make travel or childcare arrangements, etc.

When you start to label people as too lazy to vote and it’s not true, you add to this mentality that many don’t deserve the right to vote at all. That’s one of the ways you start to think of people as less-than. When enough of us start looking at each other as second-class citizens, the power centers of this society see that as a signal that it’s okay to institutionalize the concept of second-class citizenship. That’s how voter purges happen. That’s how voter suppression stays alive. That’s how people who would only use their power in pursuit of more of it get re-elected.

And so, you should take any energy you’re putting toward talking down to people who can’t vote, and instead ask them why that is and what you can do about it.

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