By Dave B.
Every two years, an “important” national election in America rolls around and I tell myself that I won’t vote. Why? Because I’m neither a socialist, nor a bigot, and being allied with either group offends me. But the same sense of personal integrity that makes me despise my potential electoral allies also makes it unbearable for me to not fulfill my duties as a citizen. So I vote. And I kinda hate myself for days afterwards because invariably, although most Democrats and Republicans are probably neither socialists nor bigots, I’ve voted for someone who is at least tolerant of having socialists or bigots in their midst. This is an intolerable situation for me, but what’s the solution?
Frankly, I’m fairly certain that there isn’t one. As Yeats said, “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold...The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity”. When mass insanity and delusion take hold, there isn’t much that anyone can do except join the fray or hope for enough luck to ride out the ensuing carnage relatively unscathed. For me, the first option is unappealing and the second option is unlikely (I’m not that lucky).
I’m often accused of being a pessimist, and I can see how people could think that, but fundamentally, I don’t think I would constantly feel so disappointed in us all unless I expected us to be capable of so much more than we often exhibit. That makes me an optimist, right? So in that vein, I’m not going to say that I won’t vote in 2020. In fact, if I’m still alive in that year, I’m absolutely, 100% committing myself to vote for whoever is the least bigoted and/or the least socialist candidate for each office on the ballot, regardless of political affiliation. I solemnly swear that I’ll not give in to hysteria, apathy, or undue cynicism because, although doing so may or may not make things worse, it certainly won’t make anything better.
Well, that’s it. Just wanted to get that off of my chest. I’ll go back to writing reviews now. May whoever reads this find their own light in the omnipresent darkness and may it guide you where you need to be. And if you're lucky, that may even be where you want to go.