The Ashes Of Our Collective Apathy (A Call To Action: Vote!)

by: Michael Shields

On the cusp of one of — if not THE — most important elections in the history of the United States of America, a plea is made for reason, for empathy, and above all else, for action…

Before we commence….Are You Registered To Vote? — Make Sure Here!

While 2018 is not a presidential election year (if only!), the elections that are poised to take place on November 6th, 2018 are of dire consequence. What is at stake is overwhelming in scope, fashioning this midterm election as one of the most important elections in American history. Why, you ask? Well, obviously — Donald Trump. Surely that is enough said, but let’s dig deeper…

On November 6th, all 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are up for grabs. That’s right, the whole House! On top of this, one-third of all U.S. Senate seats are up for contention (see which Senators are up for re-election or plan to leave office). So what does this mean? For the mass majority of people in the country that oppose the Republican/Trumpian agenda, this midterm election is your opportunity to force them to slow their roll. To get straight to the point, the crux of the matter is: If Republicans lose control of either the House of Representatives or the Senate in 2018, they will lose their ability to send new bills to President Donald Trump’s desk with their party’s votes alone. This is crucial, and a reason to aggressively vote for Democratic candidates from sea to shining sea. Take a moment to ponder the alternative to this: If the Republicans hold or, god forbid, gain seats, they could (will – if given the chance!) make another run at repealing The Affordable Care Act for starters, and then will assuredly take aim at Medicare, Social Security, welfare, and any other facets of the government that seek to help those truly in need and don’t line the pockets of big business.

Find Your Polling Place here!

Daily and dramatically, the entire shape of the nation has been morphing in front of our eyes for two years now. What the Nation has beheld is an aggressive, greedy, and oft-times cultishly evangelical minority having their way politically. Their aim, which they flaunt in plane sight, is to maintain their tight white, Christian minority hold on the country by any means possible — and shrewdly, and most importantly, to take control of the courts. One court in particular is of extreme interest to them: The Supreme Court. Republicans, having hoodwinked, lied, and maneuvered in the most corrupt of ways over the last few years in an attempt to gain control of the Supreme Court, and now hold a majority stake of it. So, what happens moving forward in terms of the future of the Nation’s highest court depends profoundly on what occurs on November 6th.

For the sake of women’s rights, civil rights, and LGBTQ rights — the GOP and its backwards thinking, Trump-enabling ways must be taken to task. It is high time that those who are chosen to represent the people properly reflect the wants and needs of the people. What is important to consider is that, in spite of the makeup of our governing body, America is a progressive and left-leaning country. The proof of this is, as they say, in the pudding:

  • 67 percent of Americans support same-sex marriage
  • 69 percent of Americans do not want to see Roe v. Wade completely overturned.
  • 70 percent of Americans accept that Climate Change is happening.
  • 59 percent of Americans support a national Medicare-for-all plan.
  • 59 percent of Americans think marijuana should be made legal.
  • 90 percent of Americans support universal background checks for gun purchases.

I could go on and on, citing statistics across an entire spectrum of social, economic, and political matters, and all telling of the same idea: Americans are, majority speaking, open-minded, modern, thoughtful, and caring. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise. The lion’s share of Americans are dismayed by the widening inequality gap, the dim standard of living facing our communities, and the expanding influence of big business in politics. Americans want their government to be held accountable, and their politicians to be more sensible and quicker to act when its citizens are in need. Yet, the current government of The United States is hellbent on turning back the clock on social issues to the Archie Bunker-ish, misogynist, racist, sexist days of yore. But we can thwart their perverted dreams if we, the people, come out and vote in hordes, and in the favor of reason and the future.

See where prospective candidates stand on the issues here!

Tracking Incumbents voting record here!

It would not be hyperbolic to say that the future of all mankind is literally at stake (and as apocalyptic as that may sound, hear me out!). During the Trump Administration’s two-year reign, the all-out attack on Obama-era policies that aimed to curb Climate Change has been consummate. The full-blown barrage on regulations that limit environmental pollution has been thorough. On top of that, funding and the commitment to science and the environment has been dampened with zest. Do not take my word for it, but rather the National Geographic, who have admirably and thoroughly been documenting each and every move the Trump administration has taken to roll back Obama-era policies that aimed to constrain Climate Change and limit environmental pollution. It’s jaw-dropping and right here! Climate Change is real, and its effects are already visible and the situation becomes more dire every single day. We must act NOW!

Much like Climate Change, Russia’s influence over the President of the United States is real and something that must be examined fully. Robert Mueller, who to date has brought about a number of guilty charges to persons involved with Trump and his campaign, must press on with his investigation and must be allowed to work. If all the billowy and plentiful clouds of smoke amassing lead to fire (they will – book it), Trump will need to be prosecuted (along with his other shady dealings which include money laundering and tax fraud). This brings me back to the grave importance of winning control of the House or Senate. In addition to giving Democrats veto power over new bills, it would also give them subpoena power — which would let them investigate the Trump administration far more aggressively. It will allow for Trump to be held accountable for corruption and crimes if he is found guilty. Donald Trump has acted as if he is above the law for the majority of his life, and with a Republican House and Senate he will continue to do so.

In short, The Republicans need to be held accountable for their actions and for their enabling of Trump and his cronies, and voting is the foremost way to prevent their corrupt behavior from continuing. Voter turnout in midterms is historically a pressing concern. Just over a third of all eligible Americans participated in the 2012 midterm elections (the lowest share since 1942). But there are signs of hope, as on National Registration Day, which fell on September 25th, a record number 800,000 people registered to vote. The masses are fired up, but we must all see this through. Standing Republicans need to face the music for what has been occurring in our country, and we need to vet and elect progressive and righteous (not bought!) Democrats who can begin to turn the tide of corruption that is overflowing in our nation’s capital. The small group of greedy, rich, evangelical, corporation-loving, self-serving masters of the universe, who hold within them no capacity for empathy, will be reigning over this country for decades if we don’t get off our asses and vote them out in spades (extra votes are needed these days due to outside interferences and gerrymandering). If we don’t stop these assholes now, it is the ashes of our collective apathy that our children must live amongst.


The Tide Turns: November 6th, 2018!

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