I Voted. Now What?

Like most Americans my age. I’ve been brainwashed to believe that if you don’t vote, you’re scum. Maybe that’s true. Or not.

I tend to vote. When you vote in Georgia, you get a sticker like the one shown here. It’s mainly for people who will be out and around and can wear it proudly on their shirt or blouse to remind others that they’re flirting with becoming scum if they don’t get one of these stickers. Legally. That means not buying one from some guy on the street. I think the street value is 50¢. That tells that people don’t mind looking like scum and might even be proud of it.

Since voting is seen as a duty, you don’t a bell or get any wings when you vote. Maybe you stay up late watching the election returns and find yourself getting angry when the scum candidates win.

This year, Democrats voted because they were scared of “the red wave.” Republicans voted because they were supposed to cause “the red wave.” The red wave never came. The Republicans took over the House as expected and the Senate is even, pending several runoff elections including my state which, as Reuters said, “Runoff election in Georgia may decide fate of U.S. Senate, again.” This year, we’ll have a December 6th runoff between incumbent Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker.

I may not vote. I don’t like either candidate.  Since I don’t, I safely voted for the Libertarian candidate to keep from having to vote for either of these guys. Now they’re back again in a runoff. Sorry guys, better scum than voting against one’s conscience.

My wife and I haven’t talked about the runoff yet. If she votes, I’ll drive her to the polls and sit in the car to read more of Kathy Reich’s Déjà Dead. Then my wife will come home and wear her sticker around the house to prove that I’m lower than whale shit. But I won’t care because whale shit nourishes stuff in the oceans while these Senate candidates will if elected, ruin the country in their own devious ways.

Malcolm

Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of contemporary fantasy, magical realism, and one satire:

Does anyone know how the Russians are meddling in U.S. elections?

I haven’t seen any evidence of it, but then maybe it’s really subtle and/or maybe I’ve been brainwashed.

Some people say Russia is putting ads on Facebook that are filled with disinformation that purportedly makes Democrats look bad and Republicans look good. Okay, let’s suppose that’s true. My response tends to be, “So what.”

Seeing an ad, from Russia or anyone else, doesn’t automatically make me believe it, much less take any action. I still have freedom of choice, so I can’t figure out how Russian-placed ads (if there are any) are any more harmful/helpful than any other political ads.

Or, have I simply missed the boat here?

Now, if the Russians are hacking into our election software, that’s another kettle of borsch. Somebody messed up big in Iowa, but I don’t think the Russians caused it. My wife and I used to write custom software for a living: we were talking about this last night and we are truly happy that we didn’t write any caucus reporting software for anyone.

At my age, I’m cynical about a lot of things it’s probably pointless to be cynical about. But I’m not worried about the Russians trying to influence my vote. When it comes to cynicism, I’m more concerned about the U. S. government spying on me than the Russians: NSA, FISA courts, Patriot Act, oh my.

In terms of the election, the Russkies–as we called them during the cold war–aren’t even on my RADAR. Neither is Putin.  I’m more concerned about finding a viable candidate I like who can win rather than worrying about mudslinging no matter where it originates.

What about you? Can you decide who to vote for without the Russians’ help? I’m pretty sure you can.

–Malcolm

Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of the satirical novel “Special Investigative Reporter.”

 

 

Election in a small town

After living in the Atlanta metro area for over 20 years, there are a lot of reasons why I was more than happy to move out of the sprawl into a small town some 60 miles away a few years ago. (As I saw the news stories yesterday for the giant cruise ship “Oasis of the Seas,” I thought, my goodness, my whole town will fit aboard that ship at one time.)

In contrast to the lines in Atlanta, there are seldom any election-day lines here. This morning I was in an out of the polling place in five minutes, and that counted the time I took chatting to the people I knew. I never saw anyone I knew at an Atlanta polling place.

Here, I know the mayor and the members of the city council. A friend is running for the city council, but even in a small town there are wards, and his seat doesn’t extend to this part of town. I know the city clerk and the city manager. I’ve worked with them, seen them at weddings and funerals, had them over for parties.

Of course, the close-knit nature of things here can lead to a strange apathy. A friend who ran for council two elections ago lost by six votes because a lot of people in her neighborhood didn’t vote. Each had an excuse–at kid was sick, car trouble, the boss made them stay late at work. But oddly, none of them worried about the vote because everyone assumed they were the only ones that were playing hooky from the election.

One way or the other, here you know you’re making a difference. You can see the fact that your vote counts; and you can see the consequences of not voting. I like that because none of us feel like we’re getting lost in the shuffle.

Malcolm

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