Poor Clay Aiken isn’t in a great mood right now. He’s definitely very upset about the North Carolina lawmakers passing an insanely antigay bill in his state. But he’s also still clearly nursing a grudge about losing an election in 2014.
If you haven’t been following along at home — and why would you — Clay Aiken’s had some political ambitions for the last few years. (Yes, the American Idol guy.) He ran for state legislature in 2014, and not only did he lose by a lot (59 to 41 percent), but voter turnout that year was the lowest in 72 years.
So now Clay’s sent out a few tweets about HB2, the North Carolina bill that encourages people to discriminate and basically criminalizes peeing while trans. “Im as pissed abt #HB2 in NC as anyone. But the number of people who are indignant abt it, yet who didn’t even vote in 2014 is more sickening,” he wrote.
Now this is getting spun as “Singer Who Lost 2014 Congressional Bid Suggests His Loss Is Worse Than Sweeping New Anti-LGBT Law,” which isn’t at all what he said.
In fact, Clay’s right. Halfway, at least.
Yeah, HB2 passing is a terrible, terrible thing. And you know why it passed? Because progressive voters couldn’t be bothered to show up for midterm elections, thereby keeping the crazy snake-handling homophobes out of office. If voters had, you know, voted, then we might not have this whole mess on our hands now.
But hold on — it’s not entirely their fault for not going to the polls. There’s a reason only about 36 percent of Americans voted in that election, and it’s because we’ve all learned that you can’t trust politicians, voting, or American democracy in general.
We’ve got a dumb system that doesn’t work and that nobody likes, so if politicians (and aspiring politicians) are mad that citizens don’t want anything to do with it, well, maybe look at how countries like Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, and Australia managed to get participation rates into the 80s; then overthrow the US government and replace it with a parliamentary system and representative democracy. There, problem solved.
“A parliamentary system” is by *no* means a cure-all for America’s electoral problems. Canada has one of those and we were saddled with Stephen Harper for a decade. What you *need* is a system of proportional representation so that the aggregate will of the voters is reflected in governance, to prevent first-past-the-post bullshit from potentially empowering big unstoppable majorities based on vote-splitting. If it’s even theoretically possible for you to have an election where every riding/district had a 3-way contest that goes 33% Red Pills, 33% Blue Pills, and 34% Purple People Eaters, and thereby results in a 100% Purple People Eater government legislature that’s opposed by 66% of the population (and that’s still possible in Canada), then your system is a democratic fraud.
All of that said, way to try and let progressives off the hook for 2014. “Well yes, they didn’t come out to vote… but who can blame them when it’s hard to vote, or when you aren’t sure you’ll get the result you want?” Uh, fuck that, we can all blame them. If there are ‘obstacles’ to you voting but you still *can,* and you don’t, you GAVE the election away to the people trying to steal it.
If there are fire hoses blasting you back from the voting booth then you can say you were prevented from exercising your right (and you should raise hell over it for the next 4 years at least). At least you have a legit excuse. And maybe if you’re deliberately misled so that you go to the wrong poll and miss your opportunity to vote, you can say you were cheated out of your right (and you raise hell in protest for the next 4 years). But if there are long line-ups at the poll? You stand in them and wait, because it’s important. If the writing’s on the wall that they’re going to *make* long line-ups to discourage you, you try to vote in an advance poll, because it’s important. If some assholes legislate voter ID laws, you do everything you can to get the required identification beforehand, because it’s important.
And if you feel (and if evidence supports the idea) that you’re in a majority that’s disenfranchised between elections because of slim majority victories by ‘the other side’ due to low turn-out, you don’t take that as an EXCUSE to not turn out in the future! You take it as an impetus next time to get every like-minded person who wasn’t going to vote OUT to vote, so that the ‘silent majority’ you’re in becomes vocal, becomes fucking deafening, and becomes the power. If you’re strong and you become the victim of someone else’s agenda through laziness or apathy, of all fuckin’ things, then you truly have no one to blame but yourself.
Clay Aiken did not run for the state legislature, he ran for Congress and he lost because of the same reason as “we’ve all learned that you can’t trust politicians, voting, or American democracy in general.”
If the Democrats had turned out to vote he would have won.
Of course Queerty missed the point. He’s saying that if the Dems had turned up and voted for Dem NC state legislators and governors we wouldn’t be in this mess in the first place. Not voting is the same as handing it over to the GOP who turn out in droves, which happened, so now you get to live with it. Next time VOTE.
Clay Aiken ? How about Quinn Matney’s opinion ?
“…and why would you?” LOL!!!!! ???
Politics is a game. You lost. Move on !
@Stefano: Don’t bother reading past the title, skip the content, skip the comments and make a bitchy comment about a topic you know nothing about. Typical.
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