Tuesday, 6 November 2012

in honor of the election...

Here is a piece of art Sasha made a couple of weeks ago. She told me she was "definitely voting for Obama" and that she and one of her friends were going to hold a demonstration and march in their neighborhood to "make everyone vote for Obama."

it's a "balloon" duct taped to a stick

On a more personal note, I tend to lean toward Emma Goldman's philosophies about voting -- primarily that it's a bullshit system whereby we are pacified into believing that voting is equivalent to making actual change. The notion that we exercise agency because we get to choose who and what to vote for reminds me a lot of offering a preschooler the red shirt or the blue shirt when you're just trying to get out the door to get more diapers. Yes, it's a choice, but it's a limited and coerced choice, designed primarily to placate one's desire for autonomy and control, and not to actually allow full participation in decision-making processes.

That said, I also recognize that a lot of folks in this country who are affected by who is in office and what policies are put into place do not have the privilege of voting. I also recognize that if I, as an individual, simply abstained from voting to protest the screwed up, coercive political system in the US, it wouldn't change anything. A president will still be elected. Local officials will still be sworn into office. Ballot measures will still become law or not become law. Taxes will still be levied. The only thing abstaining from voting would do would be to exclude me from having any say at all. It would mean someone else picks the red or blue shirt for me because I'm still at the mercy of people with more power than me, and their agenda includes getting diapers and by god we're not doing it shirtless.

So even though our democratic election process invokes patriotic rhetoric about "freedom" and "change" that's more stormclouds than actual deluge, at least my infinitesimally small opinion has been requested. It ain't much, but a vote for Obama is one itty bitty squeak closer to avoiding a Romney/Ryan presidency. At least under the Obama/Biden administration I have a chance of seeing people in the White House acknowledge that trans* and gender non-conforming folks like my partner exist and matter. We have a president who publically recognizes and supports all marriages, not just heterosexual ones, and who has a pretty solid track record of making this a better country in which to be LGBTQ, at least legally. That's a pretty stark contrast from Romney's "I didn't know you [gay people] had families" comment. Yes we do. We have families, both families of origin and chosen/created families. And we, like all people, deserve recognition, respect, and equitable access to resources.

Excuse me while I sign off to spend some quality time alternating between trying to plan Harry Potter themed activities to fill Sasha's two upcoming no-school days, and agonizing over news coverage of the election results.

In hopes of high fives,

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