Every time I see somebody advocating voting for ‘the lesser of two evils’—especially when it is followed by a statement of helplessness—I get angry. Regardless of which candidate you like in this (or any other) election, the whole point of voting is to elect the best person for the job. If you think Candidate A is the best person, you vote for Candidate A. If you think it’s Candidate B, C, or D, you vote for that person. Or maybe you write in the name of someone you think is qualified, but is not otherwise on the ballot—that’s why that space is there.
Instead, what keeps happening is that people figuratively hold their noses and literally vote for Candidate A because Candidate A is not Candidate B. ‘The lesser of two evils is still less evil’, they say. Guess what? If that is the rationale, then evil has already won, even if Candidate A wins. And this keeps happening because The Establishment, let’s call them, have, through faulty logic and sheer repetition, convinced people that things cannot work any other way, that voting their conscience will result in the ‘more evil’ candidate winning—thereby ending democracy as we know it.
The problem with this is that we are not going to get the government we want if we keep compromising this way. It doesn’t work well in everyday life (I’m living proof of this)—so how can it work when it comes to voting?
Back to the pantoum. The ‘explosions’ part of the title refers to last night’s gas explosion in Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood. One of the businesses destroyed in the explosion was Neptune Coffee, the first place I ever read any of my writing in public (a short story, in late 2013). The Couth Buzzard, where I regularly participate in a weekly open mic, is across the street and one block south; their storefront windows were shattered. Continue reading