By Phoenix Calida
Regarding voting- over the last few days I’ve been told I’m everything from “fucking stupid” to ignorant, to uniformed because I vote.
I’m none of those things, and people need to stop assuming what I know.
I know I am not hetero, rich, white, or a man.
I know this means no politician is ever truly in it for me.
I’m from Chicago, I know more about political corruption than most of the country.
I know how capitalism, nepotism, pay to play, white supremacy, puritanical, and hetero/cis centric ideals form our world.
I also know that we have a massive problem with people in poverty and people being homeless. I know cuts to medical care will further devastate people that already struggle. I know if schools stop serving breakfast and lunch, poor kids will go hungry. I know people who need medical help won’t get it because they don’t have papers. I fucking know that every winter in Chicago, homeless folks freeze to death on the streets. I know many homeless are people of color, or lgtbqia, or mentally ill, or drug users. I know people who don’t know about carbon monoxide will die because of faulty heaters. I know poor people will freeze to death in their apartments because they can’t pay the heat bill.
I know global warming has added to this problem by creating a polar vortex in our city.
I know we are already overwhelmed trying to keep these people warm and alive, but if my vote helps make sure the less eco friendly candidate doesn’t get elected, I can slightly lessen the burden. If I can make sure the person that supports cutting funding to programs that help the poor pay heat bills, I’ve made the burden smaller. If the person that wants to cut funding to homeless shelters doesn’t get elected, at least I know the problems won’t be worse this winter. If we can elect the the person that won’t shut down more mental health facilities or rehab centers, we have a tiny bit less of a battle in front of us. If we can make sure the candidate that wants to cut school funding or social services to the poor doesn’t win, we can at least help on that front.
Voting isn’t some magic bullet that’s gonna just solve our problems. But be real, we are in a war. It’s literal blood, sweat, tears, and dead bodies for every inch we make it up the hill. And I will take any and every measure possible to shrink the body count and lessen the tears.
We are overwhelmed, we are tired, but we can’t stop. And if some politician inadvertently makes the war easier but not cutting funding or further hurting a marginalized group, I think we’d be foolish not to take advantage of that vote.
So yes. I am choosing to vote because I cannot afford to waste *any* resources available to me.