In which I say vote, yes
For all my talk of immigration and expatriation, I couldn’t have a more opportune moment to speak to an urgent matter in my home country:
Please, please, please, please, vote.
Tens of millions of Americans have already cast their ballots by mail, at a dropbox, or in person. At this point it is too late to vote by mail—and, as 2020’s latest red flag, false dropboxes have cropped up across the country. So the most reliable recourse left is to show up to a polling station in person between now and Tuesday evening. Neighborhood groups are mobilizing to help get bodies to the polls: do a little research to find out if you can make use of (or help out with) any such services in your area.
Once you’re there, vote down the ballot! This election is crucial for a number of reasons. It behooves us to remember that the most keenly felt policy decisions often occur at the local and even state level. Do your due diligence on those candidates. Read up on their causes, find out who aligns with what you want, and do your part to make your voice count in their favor.
After you’ve voted, try to enable someone else to cast their vote. Communities of color especially have always had limited access to voter resources and been victims of voter suppression in all its insidious forms. On top of the usual systemic issues, there has been inflammatory and foreboding talk from people currently in power, and I’m not sure to what extent outright voter intimidation will factor in. Heck, I’ll be thousands of miles away. But if you see someone struggling, reach out. That’s what makes a democracy.
There are plenty of ways “we the people” have a diminished say, or have never had a say at all, in American happenings. Voting alone is not enough. It is a necessary start. Get out and do it, however you can. Get that sticker.