Sunday, November 4, 2018

Get Out and Vote!


It's all on you, people. Two days from now, millions of people will go to the polls and decide which party is best fit to run the country. On the one side, we have a president who is shamelessly dividing a nation with the most reckless rhetoric I've ever heard in my lifetime. On the other side, we have a party that has been surprisingly disciplined in its messaging. Democrats have made the case for healthcare and, according to the polls, that seems to be resonating with a majority of people.

There is a lot to be encouraged about. The generic ballot continues to show Democrats with a healthy lead over Republicans. The RCP average as we speak is 7. I have said repeatedly that for Democrats to flip the House, they must be plus 7 in the generic, and by all accounts, they have succeeded. Of the 36 tossup seats, Dems only need to win 15 to retake the majority.

In the Senate, while a path to a majority remains a tall order, all is not completely lost. Of the 24 seats Democrats are currently defending - 10 of them in states Trump won - if the election were held today, only 1 of them (Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota) would lose. Claire McCaskill of Missouri is tied according to the latest polling; Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Bill Nelson of Florida hold slight leads; and both Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Jon Tester of Montana have led in the polls from the beginning and are likely to prevail this Tuesday.

The good news doesn't end there. Democrats are forcing Republicans to play defense in Arizona and Nevada. Kyrsten Sinema has pulled ahead in the former and Jacky Rosen is within the margin of error in the latter. It's quite possible both states could flip from red to blue in two days. And if by some chance Beto O'Rourke pulls off the upset of the year in Texas, Chuck Schumer could be the next majority leader of the Senate. How 'bout them apples?

And then there's the gubernatorial races. In 2016, Republicans held the governor's mansions in Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa and Florida; all states Trump won. This Tuesday, every single one of those mansions could be won by a Democrat. Think about that for a moment. The party that was once on the verge of political extinction only a few short months ago, could be in position to redraw dozens of Congressional district lines come 2020.

But here's the thing: none of that will matter if the base of the Democratic Party doesn't come out to support its candidates on Tuesday. We've seen this movie all too often: Dems, despite all the bravado, are a no-show at the polls. Only once in the last six midterms have they turned out in significant numbers. Yes, it's encouraging to see that early voting is up considerably. We could see the biggest turnout for a midterm since 1966. The only problem is that registered Republicans are outpacing registered Democrats. And that is a bad omen for any prospects of a blue wave.

While we still don't know the breakdown of the early vote - for instance, how many Republicans crossed party lines and how many independents pulled the lever for the Democrat - this much we do know: with Trump energizing his base with his racist rhetoric, if Democrats don't have a record turn out, any hopes they have of retaking the House - much less the Senate - will go up in smoke.

I don't want to hear any excuses from anybody, including millennials. Enough wth this "I'm not inspired" bullshit. You're voting for a political candidate, not your favorite pop star. If the prospects of checking a racist, would-be dictator isn't inspiring enough for you, then go to hell. If you can wait on line for six hours to buy the latest iPhone, you can wait online that long to cast the most important vote quite possibly in your lifetime. Grow the fuck up.

I was your age once; a drunkard who pissed away almost every penny I made on booze and records. You know what? I still voted. Shit, I voted for both Walter Mondale AND Michael Dukakis, despite the fact I knew both were going to lose. Though, to be fair, even I didn't think Mondale would lose 49 of 50 states. Jesus, what an ass whoopin'. But, still, I did my duty. Because even in my twenties, I cared enough about this country to exercise my right to vote. We Democrats hated Reagan back then and all that he stood for; not just his domestic policy but his foreign policy too. Well, guess what? Compared to Trump, Reagan was Franklin Fucking Roosevelt. If you can't see that, I feel sorry for you.

And for all you third party types out there, give it a rest. Now's not the time to, as Fleetwood Mac once sang, go your own way. If you really want to go green, here's a suggestion: Put solar panels on your roof and buy a Tie Dye shirt. We're talking about the fate of the country - not to mention the world - for Christ's sake. Voting for a candidate who's polling at 2 percent just to make a statement is the ultimate dick move. That kind of selfishness helped Trump win the presidency two years ago. A repeat performance could wind up cementing his twisted legacy.

It is nothing short of scandalous that in a world where people literally risk their lives standing in line to cast a vote, more than half the eligible voters in this country will find it too inconvenient to get up off their asses to choose their next leaders. And yet these very same arm-chair quarterbacks will have no qualms bitching about how corrupt and feckless those leaders are. Hey, you get what you pay for.

America, this is your moment of truth. If you really don't approve of Trump and what he has done to this country, you're not helpless. You can do something about it. You can vote Democrat this Tuesday. You can punish the GOP for being Trump's chief enabler and set the table for his eventual defeat in 2020. Who wouldn't love seeing the headline "YOU'RE FIRED!" on the front page of the Daily News the day after the election?

If you're looking for some additional motivation, here's something to chew on: If you don't vote this week, Trump's supporters most certainly will. Think about that over the next 48 hours.

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