I’m writing this on my birthday, October 24, 2014; I’m 54. I’m troubled by all sorts of things I’ll not depress you with today, but I can let you know that I am particularly bothered by the fact that so many can say so much and claim it as the truth without a shred of evidence. Political ads, sure. It’s the season, but it goes much deeper than that. Maybe it has to do with the deterioration of journalism. I don’t know, but it seems any idiot (maybe one like me) with a forum can say anything he or she likes and get away with it; Fox News, MSNBC, they’re all the same, it seems sometimes. Politicians on both sides of the aisle are lying like rugs, and few of us have the time or wherewithal to get to the bottom of it. So, where does that leave us with the midterm elections upon us?
If your choice is between bad and worse, choose bad. I will vote early, today in fact, and I will vote my conscience. I think religion has no place in politics, and any politician that is wasting my tax money on fighting gay marriage or a woman’s right to choose will not get my vote; that money is better used for education or repairing infrastructure. If the Koch Brothers are on your side, you’re not on mine. I have other views, too. My choices may not be stellar, but they are choices with ramifications nonetheless, and I will exercise my responsibility as an American citizen and vote, and so should you.
In the spirit of this responsibility we share, here are some poems to consider before you join me at the polls. I’m John Hoppenthaler, and I approve this message.
“What Kind of Times are These” by Adrienne Rich
“A Poem for the Cruel Majority” by Jerome Rothenburg
“Election Day” by J.D. McClatchy
“On Election Day” by Charles Bernstein
“Election Year” by Donald Revell
“Election Day” by William Carlos Williams
“Why I Voted the Socialist Ticket” by Vachel Lindsay
“My Mother Goes to Vote” by Judith Harris
“Election Day, 1884” by Walt Whitman