It's Election Day in the US

By | Tuesday, November 08, 2022 1 comment
I came across a piece I wrote back in 2011 where I talked a bit about my background and then-current thinking about US politics and elections. I'll quote a bit of it here...
After I got out of college, I started paying attention to the world around me a little more. I started listening to the news, and understood things that were happening to people well outside my sphere of influence. Politics inevitably came up, and I started seeing politicians a little differently. They were still lousy bastards that weren't worth voting for, and I still didn't see any that even remotely reflected my views, but I did start seeing that some were not only not acting in my best interests, but actively working against everybody's interests except their own...

So I began voting. Cynically. As much as I would like to vote for a candidate, I sadly myself voting against them at least as often as not. The lesser of two evils, as it were.

I don't expect government to work for me. I don't expect them to act in my best interests. I expect that the only person that's going to stick up for me is me...

I'm scared, in part, because I don't have any answers. I don't even know the questions. I'm scared because I can't expect my government (local, state or federal) or any business I have to deal with to do anything but screw me over in every way they can. I do what I can, and that's largely just working to keep my head above water and, maybe, find a piece of driftwood to cling onto.

And, you know, that really kind of sucks that someone like me, doing even moderately well, has to think like that.
My situation has improved considerably since 2011. I have a very loving and supportive wife. I've moved to an area that isn't fundamentally at odds with all my values. I've advanced in my career and am making more money than I was then. I have less debt than I had then. The technology I have at my disposal is more advanced than what I had then. The opportunities and achievments I've made in comics are light years beyond what I ever imagined! (I am still awestruck that I was nominated for an frickin' Eisner Award last year!)

And yet, I'm still scared. I still don't know the questions, much less the answers. I wrote back then, "I'm pretty well scared shitless. Like, building a bomb shelter with enough supplies for several years, type of scared." And while I don't have a bomb shelter, I have done a lot of actual preparedness work and have several months of supplies stocked up. (My wife actually made a point of not going grocery shopping for all of October, just so we could clear out some of the older items out of the pantry and freezer. For the entire month, our only grocery purchase was a gallon of milk. We could've easily gone another month before we would've considered getting to the actual emergency rations!) I'm in a better place than I was in 2011 at just about every level possible, and I still don't see myself as doing anything but keeping my head above water because all that can get wiped away in an instant. Whether via a climate change enhanced tornado or some random gun owner who was coerced through an act of stochastic terrorism to destory the fictional child sex trafficking ring in the non-existent basement of a pizza place where I happened to pick up dinner on the wrong night, everything I've achieved since 2011 can vanish.

I had two friends comment on that 2011 piece at the time. One noted my "deep political despair" and the other said he had, just prior to seeing my piece, had been given a "big pessimism recharge" just from the day's news. Both of those friends have since passed away, the first through a random act of nature, the other's pessimism continued to amplify by working in politics trying to solve what he saw as the biggest problems to the point where he found it better to take his own life. Coupled with my own experience in 2018 of getting hit by a barely-in-control-of-his-vehicle SUV driver, I am well aware of the tenuous grip we have on whatever we might call "safe."

This year, there are a lot of people on ballots across the United States who are actively trying to subvert whatever we have that passes for democracy. I say this without an iota of hyperbole. There are candidates at every level of government, from school board members to mayors to state reps to senators, that don't care what a majority of the people actually vote for if it's not also what they want. It doesn't matter if you think they've been brainwashed by OAN or they're narcassitic millionaires or they're just racists or what, the outcome of them gaining any sort of power is the same: the active dismantling of democracy.

So please vote if you're eligible. Show these people that their selfish, small-minded, and downright cruel approach to politics and even life itself is not welcome. I have many, many problems with establishment Democrats and their messaging throughout this year's campaigns have been abysmal. But the alternative is, again without hyperbole, the end of the United States as even the pale facsimile of democracy that it already is. You think things are chaotic now? They can get so, so, so much worse.

Yeah, I know, it's real bummer of a post on a blog about comics. Here's some topical comic book covers...
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Anonymous said...

H.L. Mencken said (paraphrasing a bit here) that Democracy is the belief that the average person knows what is good for them, and that they should get it, good and hard. The American people are about to get it good and hard.