Voting on the Defensive

by Courtroom Mama on November 2, 2010

I voted today.

When I voted in the 2008 presidential election, I felt as though I was voting for something, voting toward a better future. Today, not so much. I felt like I was voting against. Against bigotry and avarice, against willful ignorance, against state intrusions into the lives of women and families. Certainly against a lot of things that I don’t believe in.

For example, Amendment 62 in Colorado is pretty much the slash-and-burn of reproductive justice. Beginning of biological development? What? Do they even have a lawyer look over this crap? After losing by 3 to 1 in 2008, the Twitter oracle tells me that they are losing by a similar margin right now.

This is all great news. But here’s my question: should we have to vote against this crap every two years? Should groups like the Tea Party and religious fanatics get to take my vote every election? When do I get to vote for the America I want and not just against an America that terrifies me?

I admit that it’s a question that is mostly rhetorical and asked entirely out of exhaustion and frustration. Love of the constitution and rule of law, respect for the democratic process, and belief in collective action generally correlate pretty strongly with a reticence to tamper with the political process and leave deeply private decisions and the rights of marginalized people to antagonistic majorities. I simply don’t understand how candidates can run on a platform of obstructionism and doing absolutely everything they can to stymie any sort of progress. Since when did we become a country of no compromise? And why didn’t I get to make that decision.

Thankfully, the “Tea Party tidal wave” promised by Rand Paul has yet to materialize. Even so, I’m ready to stop being on the run and stop holding slipping ground, and ready to build an America based on social and economic justice.

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