A Letter To American Voters (And Nonvoters)

Civic duty swag! Woooooo!

Dear American public,

Let me start by thanking the few of you who did your civic duty and voted in the midterm election. Good job!

Now, on to the specifics of what you did.

A lot of media outlets are reporting the Republican wins on Tuesday as dissatisfaction with the sitting President:

32% of registered voters said they thought of their vote for Congress as a vote against Obama, while 20% saw it as a vote for Obama. (Pew Research)

If you voted for a Republican on Tuesday purely out of spite, well, to put it bluntly, you’re doing it wrong. If you believe your vote against the Democratic party is a mandate to the Republicans, you’re sorely mistaken. Voting against a party or candidate is not the same thing as voting for a party or candidate, even if the numbers break out the same. It’s just spin.

In exit polls, the majority of registered voters said that the economy was a primary issue in this election:

Even though the unemployment rate has fallen sharply since the 2010 midterm elections and a host of other economic measures have improved significantly–meaning that the economy is better than it has been in the last two elections–fewer Americans expect continued improvement with just 27% believing economic conditions will be better a year from now. (Pew Research)

Unemployment has fallen sharply since 2010 and a host of economic measures have improved significantly, yet 73% of you still think we’re doomed to fail? What does it take to convince you?

If you voted Republican simply because you don’t like the state of the economy right now, you fell for uninformed rhetoric. What your paranoid belief that the sky is falling means is that you just handed over the keys to the kingdom, because of an issue that’s not really much of an issue anymore. Part of the reason that the economy is perceived as doing poorly–not by economists, but by spite voters–is because of Republican grid-locking. And, of course, let’s not forget the teeny-tiny Tea Partiers, which much to their chagrin, I will now and forever lump in with Republicans.

For years now, like cranky kindergarteners in need of a nap, the majority of right-wing lawmakers have crossed their arms, stamped their feet and patently refused to work with the other side of the aisle in any meaningful bipartisan way. Not much as gotten accomplished in Washington for the past few years almost entirely due to Republican filibusters and other forms of meddling.

Well, to be fair, they did manage to waste everyone’s time with 54 dead-end spite votes attacking the Affordable Care Act, so there’s that. FIFTY-FOUR of that.

Anyway, Republicans have made it damn near impossible to get anything done by putting roadblocks up everywhere, then whining that nothing is getting done. They used their own inability to get things done as a selling point against Democrats. And somehow, you believed the sleight of hand.

When I was little, my big sister would hit me and then yell to mom that I hit her. Usually, it got both of us in trouble, because my mom didn’t care to investigate the facts. On Tuesday, acting as mom, you punished us both.

The economic mess that you blame on Obama? Yeah, well, I hate to break it to you, but the President on watch when the world’s economy blew the fuck up was none other than Republican George W. Bush, the worst President since Warren G. Harding (Seriously. Even Nixon, the criminal, is ranked higher).

The financial crisis started in August 2007. Obama didn’t take office until January 2009. The world’s financial woes can be traced back even earlier, still on G.W. Bush’s watch, to 2006 with the sub-prime mortgage nonsense and the popping of the housing bubble. By the way, the resulting recession ended in June 2009, and with a few hiccups, we’ve been slowly climbing back up ever since.

Now, I’d like to address the more than half of registered voters who failed to vote on Tuesday, and those of you who are eligible to vote, but who aren’t even registered: congratulations for once again letting old, rich, white men make decisions for you, because by not voting, that’s what you did.

Here’s a snapshot of some of you who don’t vote from Pew Research:


Those of you who can, but don’t vote are predominantly younger than 50 years old, don’t have college degrees and make less than $75,000 a year. The decisions made by the politicians elected on Tuesday will impact you most of all, yet, you’re not voting. Why? Just so you don’t think I’m thumbing my nose at you from my own private island, all of those criteria apply to me as well, but I vote.

American public, please, for the love of all things American, if there’s only one thing you take from this, it’s vote, but don’t vote just out of spite. Research the candidates and issues, and vote from the heart. Voting is your privilege and civic duty. Thank you. See you in 2016.