You can't turn on the television, open a newspaper, or even surf the "Net without being assaulted by the developing political situation in Wisconsin. For those of you who live under a rock with no contact with the outside world, here's a quick recap (or just click here): WI has a new Repub governor, Scott Walker, who apparently did a dismal job in his previous role as county executive in Milwaukee yet still managed to be elected governor. One of his first acts in office was to push through a tax cut that WI didn't need, and took the state from having a surplus to having a deficit for the current fiscal year. Walker's answer to solving the deficit problem is to take away collective bargaining rights for unions, and to force state workers to pay more for their health benefits & pensions. He's specifically targeting the unions that did not support his run for governor (how interesting & vindictive!). The Democrats are outnumbered in WI's State Senate, and so to avoid a vote on the issue, 14 Democrats have fled the state (incidentally to a state where the governor is a Democrat & thus won't send them back to WI) and refuse to come back. Protesters have taken over the WI State capital, and they even had to close schools because teachers were calling in sick in protest.
All caught up? Great. But that isn't the only hotbed issue in politics lately. Utah has now made it illegal for a woman to have a miscarriage, and Georgia is also considering legislation that makes abortion or miscarriages punishable by death. Yes ladies, that's right. You can now go to jail if you do anything that can be seen as endangering your pregnancy. Beyond the normal "no smoking, no drinking, no drugs" now you can be thrown in jail for eating fish, riding in a car, or even just working during your pregnancy, cause you know, women are supposed to just stay on bed-rest & be little incubators during pregnancy, since that fetus (that until at least 28 weeks of gestation can't live outside the womb anyway) is more important that a living, breathing human who has been on this Earth for decades. OMG I just can't understand the logic of the anti-abortion, anti-women establishment...but I digress.
Both the issues in WI and the anti-women laws in Utah & Georgia highlight a core issue: THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DON'T VOTE. When people who are anti to your interests, you get situations like the ones we're experiencing now. And this is why its crucial that people get out and make their choices known, especially those of us who are liberal, young, and/or minorities. Because the people who are voting, are old, and White, and conservative, and really, they don't give a fuck about you. As long as they keep their friends in office, and money in their off-shore bank accounts, and pay as little in taxes as possible, they are good. They don't care if the person they elected makes it harder for you to get a job, or put food on your table, or have affordable childcare. They don't care if you have clean air & water, or have the ability to go see a doctor without having to declare bankruptcy to pay for it. THEY DON'T CARE ABOUT YOU AT ALL. Matter of fact, they are more than willing to screw you over as long as it puts an extra nickel in their bank account.
Not being engaged in the political process is basically given all those people permission to fuck you over. You really wanna do that? How different would things be if folks really voted for their own interests, instead of because of what you heard on television, or allegiance to a particular party or ideology, or just simply just got up & voted at all?
Bitching & moaning about what these people are doing isn't an option. In fact, if you haven't voted, you aren't allowed to have a comment at all, because basically you've said "I don't give a fuck so I'm giving them carte blanche to fuck me over". Don't want that to happen? Make your voice here. If you already vote, take it a step further - get involved in your community & the causes that mean something to you. Donate to campaigns & to organizations that align with your values. But doing nothing besides complaining? NOT AN OPTION.