Abstentions and Protest Votes are a Tax on Progress

Planned Parenthood is running a 30 million dollar ground campaign to ensure Hillary Clinton wins this election. They are spending money on it that they could be spending providing people with life-saving services. That money could be used to provide cancer screenings, contraception, sex education, abortions, funding advocacy work, or any of the many, many important services Planned Parenthood provides.

Planned Parenthood is right to be doing what it’s doing. There is no greater threat right now to health care, and in particular women’s health care, than a Trump presidency. They are spending money where it is best spent — where it will do the most good.

The reason they need to spend it is because a Clinton victory is not a sure thing.

The reason they need to spend that money is because in spite of the fact that liberals have the numbers to annihilate Trump in the polls, we won’t. We won’t because too many of us see Hillary Clinton as so imperfect that we’d rather opt out or vote third party than vote for her.

As a consequence of so many of us refusing to swallow our misgivings and vote for her, someone else will have to pick up the slack. Someone else will have to do the work and someone else will have to spend the money. Someone else will have to prevent a right wing demagogue from winning and destroying the progressive gains of the last century. Someone else will have to save those who would be the victims of his presidency from dying.

It will be progressive organizations that understand the stakes of this election, like Planned Parenthood, and like the people and organizations running phone banks, doing canvassing, donating to the Clinton campaign, and otherwise doing the work of defeating Donald Trump, who will pick up that slack. If you are a protest voter, it is your slack they are picking up. It is decisions like yours that mean Planned Parenthood’s 30 million dollars won’t go to contraception or cancer screenings. It is your decision to protest or abstain that means more money has to be spent to avoid the worst case scenario in this election.

That money could be spent on making progress. Instead it will be spent making up for your decision not to fight Donald Trump with every means available to you. So when you tell yourself your conscience can’t handle ticking that box for Clinton, ask yourself how much work someone else is going to have to do in your place to make sure Trump doesn’t win. Ask yourself whose cancer screening should be skipped so you don’t have to swallow your discomfort and tick that box. And make sure you’re comfortable with the answer before you make your decision.

By ResearchToBeDone Posted in other

People Who Will Die If Clinton Doesn’t Win

This is not a time for mincing words. Many, many people will die if Hillary Clinton doesn’t win this election.

Queer people will die because Trump and the GOP will validate and encourage virulent homophobia, and will support things like conversation therapy which Clinton will fight to end. Shootings like Pulse can happen again, and with this kind of reinforcement of bigotry, they will be all the more likely.

Black people will die because Trump and the GOP will validate and reinforce racism. Because Trump’s solution to police misconduct and brutality is more “law and order”, and let’s not kid ourselves that means anything other than “more of the same”.

Women will die because Trump will serve as a role model, demonstrating the acceptability of misogyny, cruelty, and assault of women. Demonstrating the acceptability of not believing women. If Trump is elected, he will be elected with the country knowing that he is scheduled to be on trial for the rape of a 13-year-old girl in December of this year. The message his election would send to every would-be abuser and rapist should chill all of us.

People with chronic illnesses will die because Trump and the GOP will work to repeal the Affordable Care Act, making it difficult or impossible for them to get covered.

People will die in pregnancy because Trump and the GOP’s pro-life stance will work to deny them life-saving abortions and work to restrict their access to birth control and health care.

People with depression will die because Trump and the GOP will support the widespread availability of guns, which make suicide easier. Higher availability of guns correlates with higher suicide rates. Also, where Trump has done nothing, Clinton has outlined specific policies to address mental health and the suicide rate specifically.

There will be more mass shootings because Trump and the GOP will support the widespread availability of guns, and encourage the bigotry and hatred that so often leads to shootings. They will continue to happen in the US with regularity, and Trump will do nothing to stop this and his rhetoric alone will very likely make it worse.

Trans people will die because a victorious GOP will continue their campaign of bigotry and hate against trans people as well.

People fleeing war-torn countries will die because Trump and the GOP will work to prevent them from seeking refuge in the US. If our opposition to accepting refugees had been less strong in World War II, Anne Frank might be alive today. How many Anne Franks will there be in those we refuse to save now?

Many of the people who suffer and die under Trump will be children. Many of them will be entirely preventable deaths. This is not a comprehensive list. Among other things, it isn’t addressing still life-threatening but harder-to-pin-down stuff like people who may die as a consequence of the increasing impact of climate change, or as a consequence of Trump’s utter lack of knowledge, thoughtfulness and competence at foreign policy. It isn’t addressing the possible depletions of funding and organization for government and social services that affect us all that will result from having an incompetent GOP demagogue in the White House.

We cannot risk these lives. No one, but no one, should feel comfortable risking this many lives in this election. This is not abstract. People will die and if we aren’t among them we will be attending their funerals. We need to vote and we need to vote for Hillary Clinton to prevent that from happening. She will win or he will and we cannot stand by. This is what is at stake in this election. Stop it. Make a plan to votevote early if you can (sometimes cars break down, sometimes kids get sick, and sometimes polling locations lose power — don’t risk circumstances preventing you from voting), and above all, vote.

By ResearchToBeDone Posted in other