women

Part Three of an untitled unnumbered part series.

Last week, my friend Rebecca learned she has a golfball-size mass of cervical cancer. She has responded to this change of plans with her trademark spunk, pluck and verve. And she’s blogging the experience. You don’t have to know R, or have cancer, or a cervix… to be inspired by her courageous spirit and funny-as-hell take on the absurdities of a life-threatening diagnosis. She has named her cancer Ricardo. And he is toast.

squirrelstakingovertheworld

It’s been one week. One Whole week since Dr. Skinny Indian Lady diagnosed me with the C word. The Canc. The thing that we all now know as Ricardo. It seems like it’s been a lifetime, it seems like Ricardo and I have been on vacations together. Fought about what to make for dinner. Which pair of shorts would look better with this Hawaiian shirt Ricardo? DO NOT WEAR THOSE SANDALS IN PUBLIC RICARDO. That’s how long it feels, like Ricardo and I are in a full blown dysfunctional relationship. BUT it’s only been a week, which goes to show you how long this road to remission is really gonna be. Anyway onto one subject I must address before I enter into the realm of cancer related topics.

Barry Manilow is gay? This has just shattered all of my dreams of a heterosexual relationship with him. I thought MANDY was…

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Tweet of the Day 04.06.14

 

Meanwhile, back in the ‘World’s Greatest Democracy’…

American women risk their lives – by not voting.

(Men, too. But c’mon: men can’t even put the toilet seat down.)

Ladies, your country needs you.

The inmates are running the asylum (Congress).

They are all up for re-election this November.

Make sure you are registered to vote.

Talk to your friends, and make sure they are registered to vote.

It is not difficult. CLICK HERE

If getting to your polling place on Election Day might be difficult (because you work, or have kids, or have a hard time getting around, or it might snow, etc) – just request an absentee or mail-in ballot. There is no charge for this. You’ll receive the ballot in the mail weeks before Election Day. You can take your time with it. Research candidates and issues online. Discuss it with anyone you like, or not at all. Drop it in a mailbox, and you’ve voted. Done.

votetwice

 

[068] Erin Go Braghless!

Today is the fifteenth, the Ides of March. That sinister sounding date on which Julius Caesar bought the forum. (See what I did there? Farm… Forum. Nevermind. Sorry.) But nobody celebrates the Ides. This weekend in the middle of March means green beer and leprechauns, pots o’ gold and –– (insert screeching-tires sound here) HOLY HAIR LIP, BATMAN! INCOMING!!

HolyStPatrickBatmanI was walking through Sunset Plaza, waiting for the light to change, when these two sauntered up to me. I asked if I could snap their photo. They overcame their natural shyness immediately.

One of them asked, “What are you going to do with our picture?” I told them they were about to become today’s post on my blog. They asked me to take their pic with their camera. And then we all continued on our ways.

It’s only now that I look at this photo that I realize what stunningly beautiful creatures they are! All I really saw when they were standing in front of me were the green moustaches, and their fun snark-powered personalities.

I know, I know. I can hear straight men and gay women the world over screaming in agonized disbelief and cursing my wasted good fortune!

Maybe I have the luck of the Irish? Get over it.

So to all the green-beer-swilling, tam o’shanter wearin’ Irish (and Irish-ish) types in NYC, Boston, Philly and Chicago who are freezing your shamrocks off: EAT YER HEARTS OUT!

This is how we O’roll in LA.

shamrock_symbol_jonadab__01

Day 068 #100happydays

If Women Are So Smart…

… then why do almost half of them still refuse to vote?

It’s 2014. This nation has elected a black president. Twice. Marriage equality is the norm in half the country, recognized by the federal government, and coming soon to a red state near you. But 40+ years after the Supreme Court decided that women have a Constitutionally protected right to terminate a pregnancy, the mostly old, mostly white, mostly straight, mostly men of the Republican Party do everything they can to control you, your body, your life.  Women are no better than farm animals and men know what’s best for you. And when your neighborhood gets shot up and your children get hunted down and murdered in their schools, don’t you worry your pretty little heads! The old, white menfolk have the solution: more guns.

Women, you have a president in the White House who respects you, fights for you, and would sign into law any piece of legislation that empowers you and protects you and your family.

But you have a slim majority of Republicans in Congress which despises you, fights to keep you down, and would pass any law to maintain your second-class citizenship, and keep you at risk of rape and gun homicide, underpaid and subservient.

It’s 2014. It’s an election year. Every member of that House of Representatives is running for re-election in November. And YOU get to choose who stays and who goes. You. Little old you. Election Day is the only day on the calendar when women are the perfect equals of men. But you stay home on Election Day, year after year. Why?

Are you registered to vote? No? Don’t know? Doesn’t matter. Click here, on any word in this sentence, and you’ll be registered to vote in a couple of minutes.

voteAre you worried that you won’t be able to get to the polls on Election Day? It’s a Tuesday. You work? You’ve got kids? You’ve never voted before, you don’t know how? It’s a hassle? Then choose the vote-by-mail option and request an absentee ballot. One will be mailed to you. It’s free. You fill it out. If you need help understanding the ballot or who to vote for, ask someone you trust. Ask another woman. If the man in the dress at church tells you how to vote, then vote the other way. If all else fails, just vote for all the people who have a (D) next to their names! Mail it in before Election Day, and there – you’ve voted. You didn’t even have to leave your house. And if enough women do that, then you’ll have changed the world in a powerful way. Do you have a mother? sister? friend? neighbor? who don’t usually vote? Ask! Talk it up! Empower each other. Vote.

There are more women than men in this country. More women vote, too. But in any given election, 40% or 50% or 60% of women don’t vote. The same percentages apply to men, but here’s the thing: men don’t have nearly as much at stake as women do. Not even close. No one’s telling me what I can or cannot do with my own body! So yeah, it pisses me off that women don’t vote – because I’ve got to live in this world, too. And the same folks who think of you as so much cattle are bringing this country and this world to the brink of disaster.

Wake up, ladies. Vote!

votetwice

[058] “You can’t eat beauty”

I haven’t yet seen the film 12 Years A Slave. And I missed the presentation of the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. So, while I had heard of Lupita Nyong’o, I had not heard her speak… until last night, when the news show I was only half listening to played this 5-minute clip in its entirety. The music in her voice caught my attention. The power of her words had me bolted to the floor. I cheered at the end. You will too.

I’m going to share this with every young girl I know, of every age. I hope you will, too. Lupita began to conquer her self-doubts when she suddenly had a role model to look up to. And that allowed her to finally trust what her mother had always told her. You are beautiful. This truth is universal – its relevance transcends gender and race. This is the same magic at work when openly gay men and women in professional sports step into the spotlight, as we are beginning to see. They are heroes to millions of young (and not so young) girls and boys the world over. Because they let us finally understand that we are not alone… that the part of us we’ve been taught to hate is actually something good and powerful and celebrated. Here’s to the trailblazers, the role models: Alek Wek, Ellen, Jackie Robinson, Billie Jean King, Michael Sam, Hillary Clinton, Barack and Michelle Obama… and now Lupita Nyong’o. What an extraordinary young woman! Brava!

Here is the transcript of Lupita’s remarks. You can’t eat beauty, but you can read it:

Lupita-Nyongo-

Lupita Nyongo

I received a letter from a girl and I’d like to share just a small part of it with you: “Dear Lupita,” it reads, “I think you’re really lucky to be this Black but yet this successful in Hollywood overnight. I was just about to buy Dencia’s Whitenicious cream to lighten my skin when you appeared on the world map and saved me.” 

My heart bled a little when I read those words. I could never have guessed that my first job out of school would be so powerful in and of itself and that it would propel me to be such an image of hope in the same way that the women of The Color Purple were to me.

I remember a time when I too felt unbeautiful. I put on the TV and only saw pale skin, I got teased and taunted about my night-shaded skin. And my one prayer to God, the miracle worker, was that I would wake up lighter-skinned. The morning would come and I would be so excited about seeing my new skin that I would refuse to look down at myself until I was in front of a mirror because I wanted to see my fair face first. And every day I experienced the same disappointment of being just as dark as I had been the day before. I tried to negotiate with God: I told him I would stop stealing sugar cubes at night if he gave me what I wanted; I would listen to my mother’s every word and never lose my school sweater again if he just made me a little lighter. But I guess God was unimpressed with my bargaining chips because He never listened.

And when I was a teenager my self-hate grew worse, as you can imagine happens with adolescence. My mother reminded me often that she thought that I was beautiful but that was no consolation: She’s my mother, of course she’s supposed to think I am beautiful. And then Alek Wek came on the international scene. A celebrated model, she was dark as night, she was on all of the runways and in every magazine and everyone was talking about how beautiful she was. Even Oprah called her beautiful and that made it a fact. I couldn’t believe that people were embracing a woman who looked so much like me as beautiful.

Alek Wek Role Model

Alek Wek
Role Model

My complexion had always been an obstacle to overcome and all of a sudden, Oprah was telling me it wasn’t. It was perplexing and I wanted to reject it because I had begun to enjoy the seduction of inadequacy.

But a flower couldn’t help but bloom inside of me. When I saw Alek I inadvertently saw a reflection of myself that I could not deny. Now, I had a spring in my step because I felt more seen, more appreciated by the far away gatekeepers of beauty, but around me the preference for light skin prevailed. To the beholders that I thought mattered, I was still unbeautiful. And my mother again would say to me, “You can’t eat beauty. It doesn’t feed you.” And these words plagued and bothered me; I didn’t really understand them until finally I realized that beauty was not a thing that I could acquire or consume, it was something that I just had to be.

And what my mother meant when she said you can’t eat beauty was that you can’t rely on how you look to sustain you. What is fundamentally beautiful is compassion for yourself and for those around you. That kind of beauty enflames the heart and enchants the soul. It is what got Patsey in so much trouble with her master, but it is also what has kept her story alive to this day. We remember the beauty of her spirit even after the beauty of her body has faded away.

And so I hope that my presence on your screens and in the magazines may lead you, young girl, on a similar journey. That you will feel the validation of your external beauty but also get to the deeper business of being beautiful inside. There is no shade to that beauty.

Love conquers all… but only once we learn to love ourselves.
Day 058 #100happydays

[030] Colbert

Stephen Colbert (pronounced à la francais: kohl-BAIR) got his start on Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show on Comedy Central, which lambastes conservative idiocy in a ‘nightly news’ format. Nine years ago, it was time for Stephen to leave the nest, and a spin-off was born.

Stephen-ColbertThe Colbert Report (kohl-bair rə-por) is satire at its best and most devious. A 180-degree departure from The Daily Show, Stephen Colbert presents the news of the day as an effete fire-breathing, white – male – hetero – christian – racist – sexist – pig. In other words, he takes Fox News and turns up the volume. The brilliant conceit of the show is that the typical ignorant, right-wing American teabagger nutjob could watch the Colbert Report without realizing he is being lampooned. Or, harpooned – to be more accurate.

There is no better example of Colbert’s take on the latest tempest in the Tea pot over Coca-Cola’s “America the Beautiful” Super Bowl commercial. He takes the piss out of the bigots, with a wink and a nod to the wider world.

http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/432753/february-03-2014/coca-cola-s-diverse–america-the-beautiful–ad

In all truthiness, Stephen Colbert makes me happy.
Day 030 #100happydays

A Cosmo Kind of Guy

How many times have you come face to face with it? Must be thousands. Standing in the checkout line at the supermarket, you look up and there it is telling you How to Lose 5 Lbs in 5 Mins! or What He Wants That He Won’t Tell You or Lipo: Is it for You? Cosmopolitan magazine. But I guess I’ve always been more of a People guy. “Cosmo” (in the vernacular) aims at a demographic target that is, as far as I can tell, the opposite of me. So, imagine my surprise when I clicked on the link in a tweet and landed on this. Of course, it’s not what you think. I have a newfound respect for Cosmo. And for Cosmo girls, if this is the sort of guy they shed lbs for.

The article highlights just one of the insanities in America caused by “mostly older white men… bullying women”. Look folks, there are two ways to get rid of these bullying “older white men”, and only one of them is legal. VOTE! (Click on the hot pink Cosmopolitan logo to get registered to vote in 30 seconds.) Then be sure to click on the link to the full article. And guys, if you live in a place where this shit happens, perhaps it’s time to consider becoming a male escort.

cosmo

I joined the army at 17 because I believe in protecting people’s rights. I believe in reproductive rights, but the reason I do this work is to stop these mostly older white men from bullying women who are choosing what is best for them.

Be sure to read this >>> A Male Escort’s Perspective: What It’s Really Like Outside an Abortion Clinic – Cosmopolitan.

 

UPDATE: Supreme Court (from behind the safety of its own 100+ foot buffer zone) has struck down laws allowing buffer zones for abortion clinics. (see HuffPost article here)

The Fetal Position

In the wake of its self-autopsy following the 2012 elections, the GOP has acknowledged that it must do a better job “communicating” with women. Along with virtually every other demographic slice of the American pie. But, one slice at a time.

In 2012, the Republicans in office and running for office had a particular problem with the concept of rape. What it is, what it isn’t, whether god wills it, when it is legitimate. You know, the eternal questions. Nevermind that the correct answer is No. As in “No means no. Period.”

2013 became the year that the American news media went transvaginal – as it probed the GOP’s idea of ‘small government’. Small enough, apparently, to fit uncomfortably (and medically unnecessarily) inside your vagina. And let’s not forget the various “personhood” ballot questions and amendments in more than a dozen states. These sought to confer full legal status and rights to the fertilized ovum; in fact, rights that actually supercede those of the woman inside whose body said zygote resides. [Cue the creepy music from Rosemary’s Baby.]

Yes, Republicans have been obsessed about abortion since Roe vs. Wade was decided in 1973. Not about their own abortions. No, every woman’s Constitutionally protected right to decide whether she will carry a pregnancy to term, or terminate it. Republicans are, of course, on a mission from their god(s; they don’t agree on each other’s deities) so don’t confuse them with factual, ethical or moral realities.

Not sure what happened to that memo from the party elders, because 2013 saw Republicans in Congress and in the red states continue their undisguised assaults on the rights of women to be self-aware, self-governing human beings.

last time gop cared about you.fetus 720x348

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER TO VOTE!

The most galling hypocrisy in the GOP’s passionate commitment its so-called “pro-life” agenda is that its screaming interest in the welfare of the unborn child seems to evaporate once the child is born. So, their position is more accurately termed pro-birth. Once that child is born, it’s on its own. Scram. Hit the road, kid. Get a job. We’re cutting your Head Start, your WIC and your SNAP. If you were just born in West Virginia, don’t drink the water. If you have two moms, you’re a bastard. And if your parents make minimum wage or are looking for work, too bad. When you’re 18, we’ll do our best to have one or more wars ongoing so you can sign up. If you get killed in battle, we’ll give your opposite-sex spouse $100G and a folded flag. If you come back wounded, go to the back of the line at the VA. It’s a long wait, but you’re a patriot. Suck it up. Don’t end up homeless or commit suicide. That just makes us look bad. Et cetera.

Maybe this is why babies cry upon eviction from the womb. Do they know that they’ve just been abandoned by the United States House of Representatives and more than half the state legislatures? Can they hear Fox News in utero? Do they know that Ted Cruz lives under their beds?

Wisconsin is one of the states that has really been leading the way for the GOP’s new pro-woman rebranding efforts. Governor Walker gives women, the middle class, teachers and other people a warm, fuzzy bear hug every time he turns around. And now, they’ve gone to bat for fetal Wisconsinites in a big way. There’s a bill in the Wisconsin Senate that will protect a fetus from being aborted because its incubator, er, mother doesn’t like its gender. Yes, it’s obviously a huge problem in America, and Wisconsin Republicans are running into burning uteruses and saving fetuses from their own evil mothers. Oh, it also gives the fetal grandparents rights to a veto over your host’s self-determination. So be nice to your Gramps and Nanas. They might have saved your fetal ass from your murderous mama!

Here’s a screenshot of the actual text of the bill, SB201. Pay attention to the line highlighted in (baby) blue:

Wisc SB201

That reads: “(b) ‘Child’ means a human being from the time of fertilization until it is completely delivered from a pregnant woman.”

Thanks for clearing that up, Wisconsin Republicans. Now you’ve put your pro-birth agenda into the actual text of a proposed law, by re-defining the word “CHILD” for us. Big news, really. Just one question: If we are a “child” from the moment of fertilized zygote “until it is completely delivered from a pregnant woman”… then what is our legal status once we’ve left the protective cocoon of the womb? Because you treat us like so much medical trash.

Click on the image of the SB201 screenshot if you want to read the official text on the State of Wisconsin website.

Click HERE to get yourself REGISTERED and able to VOTE in the upcoming primaries and general election in November. Whatever state you live in, blue, purple or deepest red. If every woman voted, the GOP would cease to exist. That’s right. You have the right to abort them from our government. And you should.

[006] Tina & Amy

tina.amy.1

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler make me happy because they make me laugh. And it is existentially impossible to be unhappy while you are laughing. They are smart, sassy and just the slightest bit mean – but only to the people who truly, madly, deeply deserve it.

And even if none of that were true, I would still love them. Because they took the piss out of that fancy pageant walkin’ Palin woman at just the right moment in American history to save this nation world from unimaginable disaster.

SNL-skit.palin.couric

Thanks ladies. You are national treasures. You make me happy.
Day 006 #100happydays

Mind The Gap

Later this month, a new documentary gives us the insider view of the 2012 Romney campaign. Netflix has been promoting “Mitt” with a clip from Election Night. It shows the Romney family in their Boston hotel suite, slack-jawed in stunned disbelief as they watch President Obama cruise to re-election. Mitt & Co. were (somehow) blindsided by the loss. For those of us who know we dodged a bullet missile asteroid that day, this flick promises to dish up heaping servings of delicious schadenfreude. Butter on your popcorn?

It is generally accepted that Romney ran one of the worst presidential campaigns in memory. His clumsy mimicry of human behavior and idiom was simply unconvincing. But he had a lot of help from his lunatic primary opponents – better known as ‘the clown car’ – and, of course, there’s the Republican Party’s acidic base.

The GOP wasted no time in getting down to some very public soul searching following their election disaster. (Which does beg the question: Where do people without souls go to do soul searching?) Democrats, after all, kept the White House and the Senate – and gained seats in both houses. What went wrong? They commissioned “an autopsy” (their own words) to discover the cause of death.

Last March, the autopsy findings were released. The RNC gave the postmortem a rather upbeat title. “The Growth and Opportunity Project” (get it? G.O.P.) ran to 100 pages, and identified the constituencies they would have to attract if they wanted to win elections going forward.

Republicans found they were in good shape with older, white, heterosexual, Christian men. Everyone else… not so much. The autopsy revealed “opportunities” for the GOP to work harder for the votes of women, Latinos, African-Americans, the LGBT community and the “under 30” crowd.

OK, good plan, off you go… but then, a funny thing happened on the way to the next election. The Republican Party seems to have declared 2013 to be opposite year. At the federal and (red) state levels, Republican politicians pursued policies and enacted laws that can only be described as hostile to the very groups they were supposed to be wooing. Huh?

from The New Yorker

from The New Yorker

Women were given the gift of mandatory transvaginal probes (which meet the definition of forcible rape in many states) and draconian restrictions on abortion providers. Women have also seen cuts to the WIC, SNAP and Head Start programs that their families depend on for luxuries like food and child care.

Latinos were promised comprehensive immigration reform. Instead, they got an about-face from Marco Rubio on his own immigration reform bill, and a lot of nasty talk about “amnesty” and “fences”. Latinos and African-Americans were targeted by laws to prevent (statistically non-existent) “voter fraud” in red states from Texas to Ohio, North Carolina to Wisconsin, Pennsylvania to Florida. Early voting days and hours have been reduced, new voter identification requirements put in place. The Justice Dept is investigating these voter suppression attempts, some of which have already been stopped in the courts.

We gays have never been promised anything by the GOP, except unrelenting hostility to the notion of equal rights. And they send lousy wedding gifts. Witness last week’s freakout in Utah. As far as younger voters are concerned, GOP opposition to raising the minimum wage, balking at fixing the student loan crisis, blocking every job-creation bill, and its curmudgeonly attitudes tell that story. Most people born during or after the Reagan administration have vastly relaxed attitudes about race, gender and sexual orientation. Ruh-roh. Oh, and get this: they’ve even managed to pick a fight with – wait for it – His Holiness The Pope. Wow. I mean, the guy is freakin’ infallible. Do you think he cares what Rush and The Donald and Paul Ryan think about him?

Finally, the unrelenting obsession of the House of Boehner to “repeal Obamacare!” is inexplicable – given that their fifty attempts were dead-on-arrival in the Senate, nevermind Obama’s veto pen. And now that the Obamacare “DISASTER!!” has given way to some really stunning success – with six million people enrolled in new health care plans, and more each month – GOP has positioned itself as the sworn enemy of an increasingly popular and extraordinarily beneficial program. It is the cliché definition of insanity: Do the same thing over and over while expecting a different result.

So, are Republicans insane? The more likely diagnosis is political schizophrenia. The Grand Old Party is split like an old pair of grandpa’s trousers. “Traditional” or “mainstream” Republicans are in the party’s minority – and seem to have lost ground since 2012. The Tea Party / Teabagger / Teavangelical / RWNJ (right-wing nut job) half (3/4) of the party has been in the ascendancy since the 2010 midterm elections gave them a stranglehold on Congress. They don’t have enough votes to pass anything, but they can obstruct almost everything. And they have. You may have heard…

You may also have heard that 2014 is an important election year. The next six months are going to be fraught with what some are calling a Republican “civil war”. Establishment Republicans are being “primaried” by the ultra-right-wingnuts. Remember Senator “I am not a witch” O’Donnell of Delaware? Or Senator “rape is something god intended” Mourdock of Indiana? How about Senator “legitimate rape” Akin of Missouri? Well, the GOP’s Class of 2014 is shaping up to be another bottomless pit of moronic bigotry and ignorance. Stay tuned. And pass the popcorn.

NBCNews

NBCNews

NBC News recently released the above tidbit of exit polling from the 2012 national election. It shows the harsh electoral reality the GOP has been up against and continues to face: the “empathy gap”. Romney had healthy margins of voters who preferred his vision, values and leadership. (C’mon! Seriously?) But Obama was re-elected because he won the overwhelming majority of people who want their president to care about them. That’s empathy. Barack “Trayvon could have been my son. He could have been me” Obama (like Bill “I feel your pain” Clinton) is swaddled in it. But it is a quality that seems to elude the GOP as a whole. (Or a-hole, to be more accurate.)

empathy.typesetYou’ll hear talk about the Republican effort to “rebrand the party” as a kinder, gentler place for women, blacks, gays, Latinos, 20-somethings, the poor, etc. And then you’ll likely hear laughter – because these old, white men really don’t have the slightest idea how to be relevant to the human condition in the 21st century.

Which is why the elders of the Republican Party have hired consultants to teach their 2014 candidates how to talk to women. No, I’m not making this up. Just Google “how to talk to women”. Go ahead, I’ll wait. OK, did you see the part about “connecting with women on an emotional level”? Uh-huh.

Honey, while you’re making more popcorn, how about bringing us a few beers? 

Lily Tomlin Marries Longtime Partner Jane Wagner

After a courtship of 42 years, Lily & Jane were married on New Year’s Eve. (Not Adam. Eve.) Congratulations to two dames who have been making us laugh forever.

Get The Red Out: #2014

Here we are. 2014. An election year. What’s up for grabs? All of the House. One-third of the Senate. Governorships. State legislatures. Local ballot measures. The primaries begin this spring. The general election – Election Day – is 11/4/14. Just ten months away. Debates, advertising, social media chatter – the works. If you like politics, it’s a banquet. If you hate politics, you’re in hell.

Whatever your feelings about how this country does its politics, do not let that distract or dissuade you from participating in this democracy. Whether you color yourself blue, red, purple or tie-dyed, you must vote. Why? Because in this nation of 320 million, there are 537 people in Washington who make decisions that affect every aspect of our lives. That’s 435 Representatives in the House + 100 Senators + the President and the Vice President. There are others who wield great power (the Supreme Court justices, the Cabinet, etc) – but we only elect 537 people to run the federal government. A few thousand folks if you count all the governors and state legislators.

We have the opportunity – still rather rare in this world – to choose people who will represent us and our best interests. We open every sports event and every civic gathering with a solemn vow, hands over hearts, remembering those who have fought and died to secure our freedoms.

But every two years, we spit on their graves. Roughly HALF of Americans do not bother to vote. In presidential elections, that may edge toward 60%. In the “mid-term” (non-presidential) elections, it drops to 40%. And in some places less.

With voter participation that low, a close election can mean that only 20% of us choose the winner. 20% is a majority? When did we get so bad at math?!

Here’s a graphic that shows the reality behind two recent elections in Texas. A deep RED state, right? Maybe. Maybe not. But what we do know is that Texas is a deeply LAZY state when it comes to voting. The large gray squares = eligible voters in the 2010 and 2012 elections. The little red squares = the margin of victory for the candidates who won those elections. In 2010, Perry won by less than 1 million votes in an election where NINE MILLION REGISTERED VOTERS DID NOT BOTHER TO VOTE! They were already registered to vote. In 2012, Romney won Texas by 1.2 million votes. That year, SIX MILLION registered voters didn’t vote. You hate voting so much? Fine. But why would anyone bother to be registered if they won’t vote?

TX.2010.2012.2016

I don’t mean to only mess with Texas. (Or the mess that is Texas.) No state has bragging rights over voter participation. But in 2014, we have to save our governments from being run by people who do not believe in government! Texas will be one of the more interesting states to watch, with Wendy Davis running for governor and John Cornyn getting primaried by a certifiably insane RWNJ teabagger for his Senate seat. Georgia is going to be a wild ride too, with brawls for governor and an open Senate seat.

But it goes so far beyond the ‘sport’ of politics. Because Perry was re-elected in 2010, Texas has refused the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare, cutting off millions of the working poor from critical access to health care. It would not have cost the state of Texas a dime to implement this. Perry threw his own citizens under the bus out of pure political spite. And had Romney won the election, who doubts that we would now be at war in Syria and Iran?

Elections have consequences. Not voting does not exempt you from the consequences. It merely makes you a cog on someone else’s wheel. Get yourself registered. And when the time comes, vote.

You can start by registering here at Rock The Vote:

https://register2.rockthevote.com/?partner=25659