I’m attempting to post a brief meditation on the daily quote from my Election Day advent calendar. Today brings us:
The next time they give you all that civic bullshit about voting, keep in mind that Hitler was elected in a
full, free democratic election.
I’m not entirely sure about the message here, mostly because this quote implies that Hitler’s rise to power was completely legitimate and endorsed, through the vote, by a majority of Germans. That’s not actually how it happened. Hitler and his minions, backed by funding from some wealthy industrialists, manipulated the system to an alarming degree, but you can google that.
This quote brings to mind the people I know who don’t vote. I have very little respect for them. It hasn’t happened often, but once or twice, I’ve missed an election (a primary run-off a couple of years back is the only time I can recall, and I’d like to hope that was the only time), and I feel awful about it.
Are candidates perfect? Never. Do I sometimes look at the candidates in a given race and pick no one? Sure. But I go and I vote because it is the only tool I have and it does make a difference.
I would add that I rarely vote a straight ticket. Certainly, this election, I won’t, because I want to do everything in my power to make sure that the Democratic candidate for District Attorney, Lloyd Oliver, does not win. Oliver is infamous for being, well, an idiot, making flip remarks like giving women boxing lessons is a better way to handle domestic violence situations than prosecuting abusers.
I’m not crazy about his opponent, but I know that putting Oliver in office would make a mockery of the system and be harmful to some vulnerable people who depend upon the county’s criminal justice system for protection.
Knowing there’s a choice like that on the ballot, I cannot imagine sitting out the election because the choices aren’t perfect. The odds of us getting another monster at the Hitler level when people are actively taking part in voting are slim to none. I think Carlin was off with this quote.