Hey Elderly Aunt, I’m tired of politics, so should I send a message by not voting?

Hey Elderly Aunt, I’m so tired of politics on all levels. I read your response to a reader about how to find news we can trust. It was fine advice, but I’m not sure why it matters anymore. Politicians are going to lie, so what’s the point of spending so much energy on them? And I know I’m not alone, based on conversations with my friends. Wouldn’t it send a clearer message about our collective frustration if we all chose not to vote? 

In a word, no. 

Rarely is the Elderly Aunt moved to respond to a question with a monosyllable, but the idea of not voting in tomorrow’s (or any) election to protest the mendacity afoot in government strikes her as spineless. For her, not voting is tantamount to surrendering this country to the control of the greedy backbiters and syndicators duly elected in past elections. Not voting is capitulation, not protest. It does sound to the Elderly Aunt, dear reader, that you have come down with a bad case of the Apolitical Blues.

Also, the Elderly Aunt would quibble with your phrase “politicians are going to lie.” Alas, this certainly seems to be true of our loudest and most publicized elected official(s), but isn’t profiling a group by the bad habits of some of its members a lot of what got us into this mess to begin with? Stay scrupulous, my friend! Politics—like life—demands moral fortitude, as it plays out amidst confusion, ambivalence, and—yes—mendacity. But if we lose hope, we are lost.  

Tomorrow is Election Day in Virginia. It is an off-year election, meaning we will not be voting  for president or for members of Congress. But we will be voting for state and local offices. So what’s at stake?

What’s at stake is our voice—the voice of the citizens of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. Whom we elect tomorrow decides how this community stands on issues in the Commonwealth such as: 

  • health care; 
  • environment concerns;
  •  the economic viability of raising the minimum wage;
  •  and immigration. 

In the Elderly Aunt’s opinion, the H’burg Citizen has done an excellent job clarifying the issues that we voters will address in tomorrow’s election, particularly Jeremiah Knupp’s threepart series  on the 26th District House of Delegates race. Who the voters of the 26th elect will make a difference in their lives. The Elderly Aunt suggests you read those three articles if you need to be convinced how much tomorrow’s election will shape that community’s future. Then she suggests you research the people running for other offices (even those running unopposed as you can always write someone in). And tomorrow, get yourself to the polls and vote for the candidate who will work for the kind of community you want to live in.

Yes, politics is currently an extremely yucky, murky, discouraging business, currently played out on the national level with all the intellectual rigor of a reality TV how. But tomorrow is an election, not another political sideshow. Take a stand! Vote! Do it for yourself as well as your community. Not voting is quitting, and as Vince Lombardi‘s put it, “Quitters never win, and winners never quit.” 

Vince Lombardi’s nickname when he was with the Green Bay Packers was the Pope. If you need a little energizing to just say no to the Great Quit of Not Voting, the Elderly Aunt suggests you join her in bogeying to Dr. John‘s musical interpretation of the Pope’s mantra all the way to the polls.

The Elderly Aunt offers her thoughtful responses to your questions about this wild ride we call life on every other Monday.  And as a general disclaimer—to quote the elves from The Lord of the Rings — “… advice is a dangerous gift, even given from the wise to the wise.”

Got a question for the Elderly Aunt? Ask her on Facebook or email your question to [email protected] with the subject line “Elderly Aunt question.” (Just please don’t ask detailed financial questions). 

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