For the Love of God, Vote!
Date: Wednesday, 24 October 2018
November 6th, Election Day in the United States, is now less than two weeks away. Democrats are hoping and praying for a blue wave, while Republicans in turn insist that the wave will, in fact, be red. While I will be making no pretense at predicting the outcome of the various elections across the country, I wanted to write about why it is so critical that Americans vote this November.
As you may have already heard or read in mass media, the upcoming elections will effectively be a referendum on President Trump. Every Congressional midterm is viewed as a referendum on the sitting president, this is just a fact of American politics. Furthermore, as Republicans currently control both houses of Congress, it is also a referendum on the GOP as a whole. For two years, they have had a stranglehold on power and Americans will have the chance to voice their satisfaction or displeasure at the voting booth.
However, there is more than just candidates’ dreams of winning office at stake here. All across the United States, voters are also looking through their pamphlets to consider a plethora of bills and measures. Many of these have been forwarded to the citizenry by Republican-controlled state legislatures and so include things like Oregon Measure 106, which aims to restrict access to abortion by banning the expenditure of public funds to cover its costs, even to people on programs like the Oregon Health Plan (Oregon’s Medicaid program for low-income people).
Oregon Measure 106 is a perfect example of the Republicans’ strategy to attack and gut Americans’ civil rights, particularly women’s. It provides exceptions to the ban only for “medically necessary abortions” and “ectopic pregnancies”. It provides no explicit exception for pregnancies which are the result of rape or incest, instead citing such pregnancies as “circumstances required by federal law”, which are furthermore only applicable so long as “the federal requirement is found to be constitutional”.
In a nutshell, Oregon Measure 106 is the Republicans’ way of trying to lead Oregonians into a trap. By binding Oregon’s law to the federal requirements, they hope to prevent Oregon from keeping abortion legal in the state if Roe vs. Wade is overturned by the now conservative-majority Supreme Court. Sadly, Oregon is not alone. Similar ballot measures will be up for a vote this year in states all over the country, including California, Colorado, Florida, West Virginia, and more. All are part of a Republican strategy to pave the way for a post-Roe world that should leave American women foaming at the mouth.
If measures like this pass, women all across America will see their access to abortion dramatically restricted. The number of whom will have no choice but to turn to dangerous back-alley abortions or at-home methods that put their health and lives in jeopardy cannot be overstated or accurately estimated. Women will die if these measures pass and that’s the sad truth. However, if you are eligible to vote in the United States, you have the chance to prevent things like this from happening and to save lives all across the country.
Do not let the Republicans convince you that your vote does not matter. Do not let them stop you from voting. Your vote matters and that is exactly why they are terrified of you. History and statistics show us that when voter turnout is high, especially among young voters, Republicans do not win. That is why they do everything they can to gerrymander districts and suppress votes from minorities and other people who typically vote Democrat.
As an example of Republicans’ voter suppression, you need look no further than North Dakota. In that state, as reported by mass media, the Republican-controlled legislature passed a law which instituted a new voting requirement: a residential street address on a voter’s ID. That may seem insignificant but if you are a Native American living on a reservation in North Dakota, it means everything because you will most likely not have a residential street address on your ID. As the U.S. postal service does not provide residential delivery to these rural Native communities, most in them make use of a post office box.
A simple look at a political map will show you that Native Americans in North Dakota strongly vote Democrat and they number in the tens of thousands. Even more concerning, the Supreme Court recently ruled to not challenge the North Dakota law that was put into effect in April 2017, despite the fact that means many Native American citizens will not be allowed to vote in the upcoming midterm. Discrimination on racial grounds, it would appear, is fine by the Supreme Court so long as you can disguise it well enough behind legal jargon.
To conclude this piece, I have some rhetorical questions for American readers. Is this the direction you want your country to take? Is this an America you can be proud of? Will you stand by and do nothing? Make your voice heard. Exercise your power. If you do not, your country will take this direction; if you do not, it will be an America you cannot be proud of; so get out there and stand up for what you believe in, and for the love of God, vote!
Disclaimer: This article and non-quoted statements therein are the opinion of Izzy, and do not represent the official stance of any region or its government. All information presented in this article is publicly available; if evidence to the contrary is provided, applicable information may be censored upon request. Additional citation of information presented in this article from public sources may be added upon request. Authors of quoted statements hold the right to request their statement to be censored as well. Opinions expressed by interviewees are their own and do not necessarily represent the opinion of the IT or its owner, Izzy.
Copyright 2018, Izzy
Correction: This article previously stated that Native Americans in North Dakota number in the "hundreds" of thousands. This has been corrected to say "tens" of thousands.