It's one thing to say, "Hey, I'm tired of playing basketball. I'm going home." It's another thing to say, "I'm tired of playing basketball. I'm taking the ball and going home."
Across the United States today, polls are open for every U.S. citizen over the age of 18 to cast their vote for the the candidates (and sometimes propositions) of their choice.
If you're reading this blog, I'm guessing you're using a computer, tablet, or phone to do so, and you're also utilizing the internet. You probably also ate food or drank something today, and I bet you're sitting on something someone built, whether it be a couch, an office chair, a bicycle (hey, if you want to read blogs while you ride your bike, rock on.)
But if you're buying computers, sitting on man-made things, eating and drinking things created on the land (or in a lab) and you're connected to the internet, then you're an active participant in the machine of society. And if you take your over-18, citizen-self, and you don't show up to vote in the democratic process, then you are taking yourself (and your proverbial ball) out of the equation and going back home.
Don't breathe the air we share and then not vote on how you want it treated. Don't pay for gas at the Mobil station and then not vote on where you want it coming from. Don't push that button at the crosswalk and then not vote on who you want paying for that traffic light.
I was going to title this blog entry, "Don't be a Dumbass." And then I realized that insulting you wouldn't get you to the polls any faster. Instead, I'm trying to spell it out for you. When a candidate loses, there's only one reason why. It's not about the ads on TV, or the scandals, or their political experience; it's about how many people showed up to vote for them.
I live in New York, which frequently leans Democratic. But that's more for presidential elections. Each county and district is different. And our governors have often times been Republicans! If you're a Democrat, and you say, "I'm in New York, so my vote doesn't really matter," well, you're a dumbass. If you're a Republican, and you say, "I'm in North Dakota, so my vote doesn't really matter," you're also a dumbass.
If you and your fellow voters don't show up to vote because your vote doesn't matter, then your candidate will lose.
What does voting have to do with being an artist, a writer, or an actor? Well, in this specific case, very little. But the act of taking your ball and going home can also be destructive to your creativity. If you're a writer, write something! If you're an actor, act in something! If you're a fisherman, get in a damn boat! Be an active participant in your craft. Suit up, show up, and join in the action. If you stick your talent in a box and put it under the bed, you're wasting your voice. And if you stay home today (metaphorically or literally speaking) then you're wasting your vote.