There are many good reasons for Americans to feel apathetic if not downright politically hostile going into next week’s election. Nearly ten percent of us are (officially) unemployed and those who aren’t are often stuck in nowhere jobs with no raises or promotions and no hope in the near future for anything better. Many of us have homes that are worth less than we paid for them and everybody’s hearing horrible stories every day about con men and fraud merchants stealing houses right out from under homeowners. And nothing ever seems to happen to any of the banksters and Masters of the Universe who caused all the problems in the first place. It’s hard to blame people for just wanting to withdraw into their personal lives and forget about politics.
But they should vote anyway, and here’s why. Voting isn’t just about making good things happen for yourself and your family. It’s about voting against things that will make your lives worse. And if this Republican party — at this point in history — wins big over the next two years, the lives of average Americans will definitely be worse.
Right now all that should matter to any of us is defeating the most radical, authoritarian, anti-intellectual Republican class in modern memory (and that’s saying something.) They were thoroughly repudiated at the polls in the last two elections and they haven’t learned a thing from those losses. Indeed, the lesson they took was that they hadn’t been aggressively wrong enough. Instead of seeing where they went wrong and making adjustments, they’ve doubled down on their worst policies and are prepared to go even further.