Don't vote. 
By Jarrett Bellini | @JarrettBellini 
October 7, 2022
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If I suddenly found out that, once a month, Raphael Warnock loads all his single-use plastic into the back of a truck, drives to Pensacola, and dumps it into the Gulf of Mexico, I wouldn't want to vote for the guy.

But there's also no way I would vote for Herschel Walker.

So, what should you do if you clearly can't vote for the other side's candidate - a person who opposes everything you stand for - but are now morally conflicted about voting for yours?

Fortunately, as far as I know, Raphael Warnock's weird kink isn't driving five hours to trash the planet. So I'm safe. 

But this is a very real predicament that many Georgia Republicans are facing in the wake of their senate candidate's very bad week, as Herschel Walker proved (yet again) to be wildly unqualified to serve in the US Senate. 

Which means they now have to dig deep and ask themselves, "Am I morally bankrupt enough to actually vote for this man?"

Then say, "Of course I am," followed by a spirited afternoon of painting F Brandon on the car's rear window.

It's a sad reality. Our two-party American political system doesn't offer a lot of alternatives. It's like going to get ice cream and the only flavors they have are vanilla and borscht. 

And it's further complicated by a common phrase that has been hammered into all of us: If you don't vote you can't complain

But that's oversimplified, and Raphael Warnock should be persuading Republican voters to do exactly that. 

Don't vote.

Unfortunately, though, Herschel Walker has proven to be just another useful idiot. He serves a purpose. And unless you are somehow one of the few visibly day-drunk, undecided Georgia voters, it really doesn't matter what these guys say or do. Nothing matters.

That's modern politics. Your candidate is a seat-filler. Not an agent of change.

To be clear, this applies when we're talking about bad candidates. And Herschel Walker is a very bad candidate. But, anatomically, he does have a butt. And it's quite capable of filling a seat on the right side of the aisle. 

He's the default. Republicans will vote for him because of the R next to his name. And his very bad week, while outrageous and objectively funny, is essentially moot.

That's their guy. Herschel Walker with all zero of his good ideas.

And it's unrealistic to think that his falling face-first into a port-o-potty of lies and hypocrisy can be used as some kind of rallying cry to encourage progressives to get out and vote for Warnock. If this is what it took to get you motivated, surely you haven't been paying attention. 

This year, abortion is the issue firing up voters on the left. It's real. And it matters.

It's an actual issue. Walker's theater of the absurd is only a sideshow. 

Progressives weren't like, "Gee, I was furious that the Supreme Court overturned Roe. But not enough to vote. This changes things."

The Walker situation doesn't really move the needle for Democrats. It just makes it morally complicated for Republicans. 

Maybe. 

But probably not.

Let's not kid ourselves. Red voters won't suddenly turn into blue voters. Which is why, for Warnock, the only (somewhat) tangible campaign play from Walker's embarrassment is to look Republican voters in the eye and say: Don't vote.

It's a tough sell. Not voting goes against our core values. Even though half of eligible Americans already choose to stay home. You know, because we don't actually have core values other than buying things and eating Arby's.

But telling people to sit out an election is rightfully uncomfortable. Which is why maybe now is the perfect time to change that sentiment and make it a little less passive and a bit more actionable.

Go NOT vote.

With "go" being the key word, the morally conflicted should actively decide to withhold their support. Show up. Leave it blank. Write in your dog. Draw a penis if that's an option. 

Just don't mark the box.

And then vote down-ballot all you want. Whatever your heart tells you. Because actively not voting IS voting. 

The Warnock campaign should seriously try encouraging this in ads - something clever about giving Republican voters a permission structure to sleep at night and look themselves in the mirror.

He can end by saying, "You don't have to vote for me. But you also don't have to vote for him."

This is the message.

Sleep at night, Georgia Republicans. Look yourself in the mirror. 

Because, anatomically, you do have a butt. And it's quite capable of getting up and NOT filling a seat.

1 comment:

fred of Allen said...

I have voted for Republicans when a crazy or idiotic Democratic Party member ran for the same position. You are voting for marginally improved outcomes because you are preventing a disastrous result. It is the only way to maintain hope for the future of our country.