We all get one vote. Not just in elections but in life. How we act, how we treat others, what television programs we watch, who and what we find attractive, what music we listen to, do we buy the more expensive piece of meat, what airline we fly, and what seat we want to sit in. Life is made up of one continual vote. It’s what makes us special and what makes us feel special. For years this one vote is what made us brilliant as a nation; the thought, idea, and belief that this one vote actually mattered, and the simple question is does it matter anymore?
Whether the notion that one vote could change the world was a fantasy or reality, it was the fantasy of it that kept and keeps so many of us alive. That guy or girl in the coal mine, laboring, ingesting the harshest of chemicals, just for that cockeyed American dream; waiting to get off their shift, so they can exercise their right to vote. What will be for dinner, what program will be watched? Will I, maybe, take the spouse out to the Olive Garden tonight? It’s Opening Night in the NBA, do I dare watch that? I just want to escape but maybe that’s my one vote tonight to turn on the boob tube for three hours, open a beer if you drink, a Diet Coke if you don’t, and just be entertained; to forget about whatever your personal coal mine is; have your child fall asleep next to you as LeBron and Steph light up the night, knowing in the morning you will share what they missed.
But there are no more guarantees that you will just be able to tune in a game and forget about the world, because many in sports and entertainment have chosen to exercise their vote for what they believe is an altruistic cause. So, instead of escape, we are now forced to wonder whether they will stand, kneel, sit, lift a fist, or wear something provocative. We are forced to listen to announcers who provide as much critical thinking as (to quote Les Grossman) a “nutless monkey.” We have become not a nation of reality TV but a nation of reality; and just speaking for myself, I need a damn break.
A nation often mirrors its leader, and for almost eight years we have been a nation of protest. With every day comes a new protest. I wouldn’t have expected anything less from a community organizer, which is essentially code for protest. Yes, it’s their vote but something funny is happening; often it is the case of the louder more obnoxious vote suppressing the smaller, quieter, and more substantial vote. The louder vote beats down the silent majority with intimidation and fear. But people are tired; they are poor and they are confused; they want their vote, their one little vote to again be counted.
I choose not to watch George Clooney movies; I choose not to buy or listen to anything from the Anti-Semitic Roger Waters of Pink Floyd; I choose to not watch CNN, I choose. And I chose not to watch the opening night of the NBA. I made the conscious decision that it just wasn’t worth what little damn time I have. If it was between watching the NBA and listening to the air around my head, well, I chose the air. Gratefully I have a fairly big life, so I had options. But no longer will I go to concerts where I might be lectured to, no longer will I sit in front of my TV and be lectured to. You want to protest? Well, so do I.
Your vote isn’t dead. It appears that way, I know, and maybe I’m a dreamer, and a “cockeyed optimist,” but I don’t believe it’s dead; it’s just been suppressed. It’s time to take back your vote and do it loud and do it proud. For every player that votes to kneel we vote not to watch, for every singer that votes to speak we vote note to listen, for every actor that votes to pontificate, we vote too; well, since every recent Clooney movie has flopped, I guess the people have already voted. Does my vote matter? You’re damn right it does.
So if you’re debating whether or not your vote counts on November 8th, and they’d like you to think it doesn’t, please remember you’re not just voting for who you want the country to mirror; you are voting for what you eat, what you say, and how you say it, what you watch and how you want to raise a family. Yes, your one vote matters. It has to, because one vote is all we have.