Over the course of the past week I’ve done some things that would make for easy column fodder. I went to Comics Art Brooklyn with my friend and collaborator Robby Barrett, I went to see Doctor Strange with fellow ComicMix columnist Molly Jackson, and I read some new comics and graphic novels I enjoy like Nobrow’s Sp4rx by Wren McDonald. Under normal circumstances I would be writing about one or all of those things today. Today is different though.
It’s election day.
Here in the United States we are voting for our next President, a third of our Senators, our entire House of Representatives, twelve Governors, 1,212 State Senators, 4,711 State House seats, many judges, municipal positions, and ballot initiatives. It’s a lot to keep track of, I know. It’s in all our best interests that we do keep track.
Better yet, vote!
I know that we get bogged down by the Presidential race to the point where it’s hard to imagine we have to vote on anything else, but it’s true. Let’s focus just on the presidential race for the moment though. While the President doesn’t necessarily directly impact your day-to-day life, they do serve as Commander in Chief of our armed forces, the face of our country at home and abroad, and appoint many important unelected positions including Supreme Court Justices who get lifetime appointments.
When considering between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump, please keep in mind that Hillary Clinton was the only one of them that spoke at Superman’s funeral. Where was Donald Trump? Perhaps he was too busy being M.O.D.O.K. I hear that’s what people are saying.
All joking aside, this really is an important election for multiple reasons. For the first time in our 240-year history a woman is the nominee of a major party and could realistically become president. If elected, she would also be the first Democrat to be elected after a Democrat completed more than one term in office since Harry Truman won the election in 1948 (sorry, Dewey). She’s arguably one of the most qualified non-incumbent candidates.
There is also an outstanding Supreme Court Justice seat that won’t be filled until the new President gets a chance to nominate someone, though Republicans may trip over themselves to nominate Merrick Garland if Hillary wins. When the Supreme Court doesn’t have a majority opinion on a case, the lower court ruling holds as if they never heard the case in the first place. And there are important cases coming up like the trans bathroom bill case. Our founding fathers weren’t always that good at predicting life 240 years in the future, but there is a good reason we have an odd number of Supreme Court Justices.
And as I was saying earlier, there are many other elected officials up for reelection. The Senate could flip. Though it’s not as likely, the House could flip. State Legislatures could flip. Governors could get the boot like Republican Pat McCrory. He deserves it.
Voting is incredibly important, and if you’re an American citizen and you’re reading this please vote. There is no such thing as a “safe state.” Maybe a state that’s more reliable voting for one party or the other for President, but as I stated before we vote for a lot more offices than that. Many of those other offices affect your day to day lives more directly than the President. Believe it or not that stop light they added on that long winding road that saved lives was not a White House decision, or your property taxes, or how much cigarettes cost and where you can smoke them, and a whole lot more.
This is why we all have to vote every single chance we get for every position and ballot initiative we can. It’s our right, and we need to exercise that right or we very well could lose it. Even if you’re not excited by your candidates. You’re not voting for best friend, drinking buddy or most charismatic. Hell, I voted for John Kerry.
I know it sounds crazy that we could lose the right to vote, but it’s happened in democracies before. We’ve already lost our right to privacy so what’s a little less voting gonna hurt you?
Vote. If you haven’t voted early, vote today. Vote in two years from now in the midterms. Vote in off year municipal elections. Vote for water commissioner, school board, and dog catcher.