Vote for our survival, not lofty principles

I would tell y’all that you need to vote this November as if your lives depend on it—and they very well might—but honestly a lot of people out there don’t seem to care much about their lives based on how they are talking about voting (or not voting). Would it help (or change your mind) if I asked you to vote like our lives depend on it? Indigenous lives, Black lives, trans lives, women’s lives and so on.

If that doesn’t help, how about voting like the life of the cutest and most adorable human you can imagine is on the line?

Voting anything except Joe Biden/Kamala Harris right now is, in my opinion, just wanton endangerment. You might as well say that you really just don’t care about—well, about anyone or anything anymore. Embrace your inner nihilist and just tell us that you want us all to suck up the apocalypse and stop worrying and just suffer.

I have made no secret online or in my offline interactions that I am voting Biden/Harris. I’ve also been very clear that that isn’t my dream ticket. When it comes to Biden in particular, he wasn’t my first choice. Or second. Or third. Or fourth.  C’mon, you get the idea, right? But I’m not voting out of love for the candidate but for survival. We all told you, and by “we” I mean lots of “we” folks but especially Black folk and particularly especially Black women, that Trump was poison. We said y’all need to vote Hillary Clinton or we would all be screwed. We told you this man in the White House right now was dangerous and would destroy everything.

And we were right. In fact, Trump has proven to be even worse than most of our predictions, which were already horrific. Maybe if all the people who voted third-party candidates last time had not done so, maybe the breakdown of state elections would have been different. Maybe Clinton would have won the electoral vote in addition to the popular one.

And no, Hillary Clinton would not have been “just as bad.” Not even close, bless your heart. And Biden won’t be just as bad as Trump, either, if we get him elected president.

I know Biden’s record isn’t great. I know he’s not fantastic for non-white people. He’s a cheerleader for the police in the midst of overwhelming police violence even more than Barack Obama was. He’s a moderate who will try to reach across the aisle to the crazy-ass GOP. Yes. He will not bring us universal healthcare. He will not push back hard against corporations and billionaires.

We know this. But we also know he would restore many of the good and the mediocre-but-still-useful things that Obama put in place and Trump took out. We know he won’t be advocating for the public to do violence against his detractors. Biden won’t be routinely ignoring his duties for golfing and cable news binges. Biden will a spectacularly mediocre president, but at least he won’t be doing an impersonation of the antichrist.

If you vote for Trump, you are just rotten to the core. You just don’t care about anything but white supremacy and terroristic evangelists and America over everything else. Maybe you care about “owning the libs” even if it means screwing over yourself. Congrats. You would rather lick the heels of Nazi enforcers than stand for anything positive.

If you vote third party, you are essentially helping and enabling Trump. Tell me all you want about how you shouldn’t have to settle for the lesser of two evils. Tell me how you’re standing for principles. Tell me how you’re sending a message. No, you’ll probably be helping to send Trump to another four years and perhaps more than four more.

If you vote Biden, it may leave a sour taste in your throat, but many medicines do. It’s not the greatest and most effective medicine and it’s not the tastiest. But it’s necessary.

Simple fact is that the United States was already shaky and in less than four years Trump turned it into a complete disaster. We are bleeding heavily and we need to stop that bleeding long enough to recover and possible salvage something. Possibly move forward with actual progressive policies one day. Possibly still have the freedom to change the systems we have without all-out civil war. We are bleeding to death. Biden is a dirty, soiled shirt to staunch that bleeding. Not ideal, but necessary. Trump is just a set of razor blades to stuff into that bleeding wound and sandpaper and superglue to seal them in.

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1 thought on “Vote for our survival, not lofty principles”

  1. Thank you for this clarity. I hope your words speak to those who don’t want to vote for Biden/Harris. This is powerful.

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