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Editorial

Basslines and Protest Signs Part 104: Voting Saves Lives

If we were to believe the naysayers and doomspellers, the midterm elections are already a done deal. There’s a red wave coming and there’s nothing we can do about it. For three decades-ish, this country has seen the party that lost the presidential election enjoy a good showing in the following midterms — one assumes it’s a reaction of some sort.

We can’t allow ourselves to think that way though. The awfulness, the sheer wretchedness, of the republican candidates is cause for huge concern, and not in a regular politics vs. politics way. We’re talking Big Lie spreaders and homophobes/transphobes, racists and anti-abortion wingnuts, and all-around fucking assholes. 

(I don’t refer to the anti-abortion crowd as “pro-life” because they’re usually pro-gun and pro-death penalty, so they certainly aren’t ‘pro-life.’)

Trump, of course, is trying to drum up enthusiasm for these literal monsters. Not figurative monsters, these people literally display monstrous behavior on the daily.

Trump SHOULD BE IN HANDCUFFS BY NOW! The January 6 Committee and hearings have proven beyond any real doubt that the former president knew exactly what he was doing, exactly what he was instigating, and he chose not to stop it when he could. If Trump isn’t guilty of any crimes, then nobody is. Like, ever. 

But see, he sets the bar. And then the other wingnuts running for office at the grassroots level pay attention to the rabid response Trump gets from his loyal followers, and they echo him in the hopes that:

a) they get the same response from the same people

b) their ass-kissing earns them Trump’s endorsement. Which leads to more of “a.”

MSNBC reported on right-wing sheriff’s groups that are essentially working as paramilitaries — standing up for insurrectionists and against democracy. These are sheriffs. Law enforcement. The people who are supposed to protect us. It’s chilling. 

But that’s where we are now. Basically, if a republican is honest and says that the 2020 election wasn’t stolen, they’re viewed as RINOs, shunned like Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, and threatened with claims their decency is disqualifying. 

Beto O’Rourke (photo: Gage Skidmore via Wikicommons)

The Republican party isn’t a legitimate political party anymore. It’s a far-right group of domestic terrorists, traitors, and bigots. And that’s why voter turnout at the midterms is so incredibly vital.

There’s a reason republicans are constantly trying to restrict voter turnout, to hold people back, to make it more and more difficult to vote instead of easier and easier. (Seriously, it’s 2022, we should be able to vote online by now, much like the way we can renew our driver’s license.) There’s a reason they want to delegitimize democracy.

Republicans know that, when people really turn out to vote, democrats win. When the turnout is low, they stand a chance. So they’re counting on apathy created by the economy / President Biden’s currently low approval rating to keep people away. Their backup is the fallacy of a rigged election.

Let’s be honest, many of us voted as much against Trump as for Biden in 2020, and that was a perfectly valid reason to vote dems. It is again now, the danger is still very much present and clear. For crying out loud, don’t take your eye off of the ball. VOTE!

Nowhere is this more important than in Texas. Self-proclaimed punk and all round good guy Beto O-Rourke is aiming to crack the oh-so-red state and rock the country to its foundations. He’ll have to beat Greg Abbott, that wretched woman-hater who looks like the bad guy in every ’80s movie. 

According to El Pais, “Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke says that punk concerts were always magical for him. It was liberating for an out-of-place kid in high school to be with other people who didn’t feel like they should follow trends, wrote the Texan politician in his foreword to ELPASO, a story by Benjamín Villegas about the musical movement in this border town in the 1980s and 1990s.”

Billie Eilish (photo: crommelincklars via Wikicommons)

Billie Eilish knows how important these Midterms are. The alt-pop star has partnered with nonprofit HeadCount to encourage young fans to get out and vote.

“I’m working with HeadCount to encourage everyone to show up at the polls and use their voice during these midterm elections,” Eilish said in a statement. “With what is going on in our country, we need to get out to the polls and vote for what we believe in. Not showing up is not an option.”

Eilish clearly tries to stay out of politics, but she knows what’s right and what’s wrong. Prior to the last presidential election, she said in a video, “I really couldn’t want to be involved in politics less; I’d rather be doing literally anything else than talking about this,” she said before adding, “There just comes a certain point where you can’t ignore it and you can’t be silent. Especially having the platform that I have, I don’t want to waste that. So I think it’s really important that we all talk and speak up, even if we’d rather die.”

That’s the thing, we really don’t have a choice but to get involved in politics nowadays because, again, lives depend on it. So again, VOTE! 

The #iVoted Festival takes place virtually on November 8 and features the likes of Run the Jewels, Lake Street Dive, CNCO, Carl Craig, Rise Against, Umphrey’s McGee, Lil Scrappy, Halestorm, Jamby El Favo, Shakey Graves, 3OH!3, DeVotchKa, Yonder Mountain String Band, Jaret Reddick of Bowling for Soup, The Suffers, Eliot Sloan of Blessid Union Of Souls, Doll Skin, Lotus, Twiztid, The Starting Line, Duane Betts, and ACRAZE with idobi’s support.

 Visit the #iVoted Festival website for more info on that.

But for god’s sake, VOTE!

 

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