Just voted. Three quick thoughts:
1. If you live in a state with early voting (like MN), do that. Aside from just the convenience of picking which day is easier for you, it makes the line shorter for other people on election day. Here’s a link to MPLS sites, just as an example; if you’re somewhere else, google it.
2. Knowing the general audience who reads my work, I think it’s worth sharing: yes, voting matters. No, it can’t take the place of organizing. No, it won’t magically stop the Dakota Access Pipeline, police violence, poverty, or climate change. Yes, candidates are imperfect. Yes, we need to think beyond election day. All of that is true, and voting still matters. It’s a power bottleneck that allows us to help decide whether that post-election day organizing will be offensive or defensive in nature. That’s the key for me, more than any other argument. And especially in down-ballot races and referenda, it can have a real impact on people’s lives.
So yeah. Please vote (if you’re able). Then, of course, we get back to work on 11/9 no matter what the outcome is.
3. I’m not really interested in telling people for whom to vote (aside from the obvious one: not Trump), but I did share my own thought process regarding Dems vs. Greens (and the larger issues that are part of that debate), in case anyone is interested.
Clearly, I’ve been talking about this, and everyone has been talking about this, so there’s probably nothing revelatory in here. I just think it’s worth pushing back against the assumption that voting doesn’t matter, or that election time has to be a time when everyone tunes out of movement-building work to focus solely on voting. If anything, I see people more plugged-in, and paying more attention, right now. The key is harnessing that energy. 2017 can be a spectacular, transformative year when it comes to movement-building and people-powered activism. But that work is on us, not our politicians.
Finally, a word from Tish Jones: