If political activity on Facebook and other social media sites were an accurate gauge of how the midterm election in November was going to turn out, it would look like Democrats would take back the house and gain a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. Article after article, meme after meme, you’d think that liberals and progressives are poised to make a resounding statement in the 2014 midterm election and that the Republican Party and their ideas are on the verge of being irrelevant – except they aren’t.
It’s a foregone conclusion that younger voters tend to be more liberal and tech savvy, so why aren’t we busy putting the final nails in the coffin of the Tea Party and electing more people like Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren to the House and Senate?
The Washington Post reports:
A new study shows that Americans are on-track to set a new low for turnout in a midterm election, and a record number of states could set their own new records for lowest percentage of eligible citizens casting ballots.
The study, from the Center for the Study of the American Electorate, shows turnout in the 25 states that have held statewide primaries for both parties is down by nearly one-fifth from the last midterm, in 2010. While 18.3 percent of eligible voters cast ballots back then, it has been just 14.8 percent so far this year. Similarly, 15 of the 25 states that have held statewide primaries so far have recorded record-low turnout. (Source)
Seriously y’all, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? Didn’t you learn from the midterm election in 2010? Remember how in the glorious afterglow of electing the first black president, a lot of us got lazy and complacent and didn’t show up to vote? Remember what happened? The Tea Party takeover? Hello, is anyone paying attention?
Sure, Mitt Romney got his ass handed to him in the 2012 election but little else was accomplished. We’re still stuck with the House being run by lunatics like Louie Gohmert, Steve Stockman and Michele Bachmann who is finally leaving, but no thanks to us. Eric Cantor won’t be there, but that’s going to be thanks to the Virginia Tea Party, not us. The work of the Senate is still being held up by Mitch McConnell and all of the good intentions, bursts of outrage and petitions on our part are not going to change that.
It would seem as if many people believe that all they need to do is turn out every 4 years, put a candidate’s sticker on their vehicle and vote for the Democratic nominee – as if that fulfills their civic responsibility. The other problem, especially on the left, is that a lot of folks get discouraged and angry because their party didn’t fulfill all of their promises – and give them a pretty pony as well.
The difference between the left and the right is that despite not getting everything they want, the right still shows up to vote, both in the primaries and in the general elections. Let’s use the religious right as an example. In the years before they managed to take control of party decision-making in the Bible Belt states and beyond, the religious right was content to get a token anti-abortion bill tossed their way. In the mean time, they continued to show up at the primaries and vote in the general election, even if their ideal candidate wasn’t on the ballot. These voters understood that sitting around and waiting for the perfect candidate who would give them everything they wanted was a terrible strategy, so they took what was given while working for something better.
The problem is the left isn’t as fervent – rabid, even – about getting out the vote even if the party nominee isn’t what they had in mind. As such, enthusiasm rapidly wanes and people loudly complain when a nominee isn’t the most pro-choice, pro-LGBT, progressive person out of all of the candidates there were to choose from. Don’t believe me? Just go check the comments section on Ready For Hillary, and she hasn’t even announced whether or not she’s going to run in 2016.
But how can people honestly complain when the turnout for Democratic primaries is the lowest it has ever been? And it’s not just in red states, either. It’s in Maryland, Illinois, and California – just to name a few solidly blue states. This is why, despite the demographics shifting against them, the far right continues to hold on to power, thanks to apathy on the left.
This week’s Whiskey Tango Foxtrot award goes to the professional complainers on the left who spend their time kvetching and waiting for the perfect candidate to come along, instead of being pragmatic and working with what we have for now. It’s as if they’d choose to hand the Senate back to the GOP rather than vote for someone who doesn’t share every single one of their views. Seriously, grow up.
So, do you want to bury the Tea Party and their obstructive agenda once and for all? There’s only one way to do that, and that’s to vote and make sure to get others to the polls as well. Here’s what is at stake in the midterm election in November:
—All 435 seats of the U.S. House of Representatives
—33 seats in the U.S. Senate
—46 State Legislatures
—38 State and Territorial Governorships.
You can sign all the petitions you want and voice your outrage that your ideal candidate isn’t on the ballot, but none of that matters if you don’t get out and vote.
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