Voting Sometimes Feels Futile.

Voting sometimes feels futile, doesn’t it? Yeah, it does, but we can’t let that make ourselves complacent.

I voted on

Yesterday was primary election day here in Arizona, and that ballot included some important local races, as well as statewide and national candidates. Among those up for reelection is Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpiao. Now, anyone who has followed me for any length of time knows I find this man to be a despicable excuse for a law enforcement officer. He’s more interested in self-aggrandizement and scoring political points than he is in enforcing the law. Unless it involves Mexicans–then he’s overzealous. Among the various aspects I despise about the man, he’s currently being charged with criminal contempt of court.

I left the Republican party about a decade ago after several years of reflection. I realized the GOP had moved far away from the ideals they held while I was growing up. They are the cause of political gridlock with their policy of no negotiation. And, I’ve very likely moved to the left since I was a young man. That’s something that happens when you pay attention to the pain other people have and watch obstructionism. It happens when you’ve been lied to as a matter of standard operating procedure. It happens when you’re tired of watching the GOP turn capitalism into, as venture capitalist Nick Hanauer so bluntly put it, permission to fuck people over for private profit.

So I left the GOP and became an independent. In Arizona, independents have to pick a party primary ballot. I usually pick a Republican ballot so I can vote moderation. The GOP absolutely hates this. To paraphrase one state party spokesman before the presidential primary, they don’t want independents participating in primaries because it would make their candidates too moderate. This exactly is why independents need to participate. The party is only interested in extremist candidates, and if you look at Arizona since Janet Napolitano was drafted into the Obama Administration, it has been nothing but fucking people over for private profit.

So I voted for Dan Saban, the Republican running against Arpiao. (I also voted for corporation commissioners who don’t have the utilities stuffing dark money into their pockets, but that’s a discussion for another day.) Arpiao won with something like 83% of the votes, so clearly the Arizona Republican population doesn’t care about Arpiao’s abuse of power, like arresting the political opponents of his good ol’ boy network. The Arizona Republican population doesn’t care about using taxpayer dollars to pay for the resulting lawsuits. You know, as long as the Republican governor makes good on his promise to cut taxes every year and reduce regulation so industry is free to do things to make money, like mine uranium at the Grand Canyon.

I still see a lot of red “Make America Great Again” hats. I still see even more “Don’t Tread on Me” flags and window decals. I get the impression many of them think the only good Mexican is a Mexican trimming their trees.

That’s why it’s important to vote. People who see through the shenanigans and exploitation have to make their voices heard. Maybe one day, the rest of the state will listen to us.

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