Scared Yet? Don’t Be.

Vote: 

Generations of Americans have fought and died for the right to vote for those not initially enfranchised when this country was founded (i.e. anyone but property owning white men). So many people have kicked ass to earn the right for you to get off yours and vote. 

If you’ve got privilege, check it. Now’s not the time to get caught up in the “lesser of two evils” argument. If you are an American citizen you have the ability to vote for not evil. Hitler analogies are tired for sure, but apt in this circumstance considering the forced hysterectomies and death by neglect and disease happening in American migrant detention facilities, and obvious calls for dictatorships. It is time to be aware that events in this novel are unfolding now. 

Further, remember those among us who would like to vote but cannot get the time off work, find child or elder care, find their ID, or afford the gas. Do your part and cast your vote for those who may not be able to as easily as you. It is the very least you can do to prevent possible disaster. If possible, mask-up and vote in person in this election and every other from now on – up and down the ballot. If you voted absentee, make sure that it’s been counted by calling your county elections office or tracking your ballot online. This election will be won or lost by a very small percentage of the population. Vote like your life depends on it, because it does. 

Donate:

If you have anything to spare, consider a donation to a candidate, voting rights or civil rights organization. Like it or not, until Citizens United is overturned, elections are won or lost largely based on how much money a candidate can pull in. The more they can from little people the less beholden they are to the big guys. As an aside, I’ve been involved in local politics in my area for a number of years now. During that time I’ve come to know personally a number of “politicians.” They are the people who are vilified and universally mocked by society. But a politician is nothing more than someone who stepped forward to help steer the ship. We need captains. Society cannot function without them. Do systems corrupt many? Absolutely. The right, left and center seem to agree on that issue alone. However, that’s where voting comes to play. Vote, hold them accountable once they’re in office, repeat. That’s the essence of how functional democracy works. It’s not a spectator sport. Run for office yourself next time around if you think all politicians are corrupt. Show the world that’s not true.  

Volunteer:

Unless you’ve been behind the scenes of an election, it’s unimaginable how much work is involved in simply ensuring that the people who agree with you can and do get to the polls. For people engaged in politics the election is all-consuming. For the rest it’s in the background and often annoying. Connecting with those busy Americans who want to vote, but need a nudge is essential. Write postcards to voters in swing states. Make calls from the comfort of your home. Distribute voter education materials. Be a poll worker or monitor. Register new voters. Get people to the polls. If you’ve got privilege of race, education or class, use that to defend and support others whose rights may be more easily denied.  

Stay Calm:

Americans will likely not know the night of November 3rd, 2020 who won the election. The President’s voters will likely turn-out in large numbers on Election Day. Many voting against the President will be sending in their ballots through a mail system that the President has crippled. Ballots will take time to be counted. Wait for the full vote to be counted before freaking out. Protest attempts to cut off vote counts. Opposition candidates are already gearing up with lawyers, so is the President. The President knows how to work the legal system, cloud the facts. and confuse the situation. Don’t buy in. Don’t distract yourself with every insane tweet. Take breaks and recharge when you need to.  

Stay Engaged: 

The time between November and January 2020, perhaps into March or April will likely be some of the most volatile in American history. Stay peaceful, stay engaged. Don’t let the President and the Party determine the narrative that resistance is futile. Pay attention to real news, stay away from Youtube and conspiracies. Join protests when you can using social distancing and masking. Inform yourself on protection from tear gas and rubber bullets. Strap on your boots for the long haul, because if the President retains power, there is too high of a probability that aspects of this dystopia become our future. Love to you all. 

Published by Pernell Plath Meier

Pernell Plath Meier grew up on the Iowa side of the Mississippi in the Quad Cities. She left behind a life of traumatic chaos to move out on her own at fifteen. She earned undergraduate science degrees with honors in biology, anthropology, and environmental studies, followed by graduate degrees in sustainable agriculture and anthropology at Iowa State University. She’s worked and traveled in ten countries, including a long-ago trip to see the Grateful Dead in Canada. After college, she moved to Kentucky to help farmers transition from tobacco production to local foods. She found her way to Southeast Minnesota and spent nearly twenty years raising gardens, chickens, dogs and cats, while homeschooling her five adopted children. Today Pernell juggles day to day life as a single mom with three kids still at home, a smaller flock of chickens and a new puppy, Buddy. Prior writings have centered on adoption and gardening.

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