‘If God had meant us to vote,’ said the much missed folk singer and labor activist U. Utah Phillips, ‘He’d have given us candidates.’
On this, the pointedly funny Phillips was wrong. We’ve got candidates aplenty. And, if we’re not active and intentional, we’re going to get the officials we’ve earned.
I understand the apathy around this election. Here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the race for governor gives people like me acute ennui.
But I remember the people who thought the 2000 presidential candidates were ‘Tweedledee’ and ‘Tweedledum’. Turns out, one had people named Cheney & Rumsfeld, and Roberts & Alito at his side.
The same candidate was willing to nullify the votes of thousands of people in Florida and then Ohio four years later. Turns out, those votes were worth the time and money to void, as we’re seeing with the push for voter identification and cleansed voting lists.
So, for me there’s no choice between ‘their poor dumb bastard’ and ours. And ours is worth mobilising for, if only to avoid the consequences of theirs.
From this All Hallows Eve through Tuesday, I’ll pray a verse from an ancient litany:
From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!
If we don’t get ourselves and all our allies to the polls, we’ve only the hope the Lord’s in a delivering mood since we’ve not helped ourselves.