When #VoteOrDie gets literal.
After a truly hellacious series of weeks on the political scene, I have very little in the way of clever things to say. I’m tired, I’m sad, I’m angry, and I’m not alone in being overcome by those feelings. And if you fall into any category that isn’t “powerful white man,” you’re probably feeling those things, too.
Even trying to put those feelings into words right now feels hard, but I’m doing it because it’s important that we turn all of that rage and sadness into action. By “we” I mean all Americans with a conscience (because even Taylor Swift is getting political these days). But more than just your everyday Americans, I’m talking to chronically ill and disabled Americans, and the people who love us.
I have written myself blue in the face about why it’s important that you vote, and the many ways various legislators are trying to strip sick people of their basic human rights. So if you’re someone who, up to this point, has found it easier to stick it out on the sidelines, consider this me, officially tagging you in to the game that is politics.
Because regardless of what you think of parties or your ideal political system, there are real pieces of legislation being voted on every day that directly impact sick folks like us. There are politicians who are good on drug pricing and access to health care and accessibility laws, and there are politicians who are VERY bad about recognizing that sick people have rights. What I’m asking is that you do a little research, find out where your members of Congress stand, and vote accordingly. (And if you need help scouring the google machine for info, I’m here.)
Voter registration deadlines are hitting as early as THIS WEEK, so do us all a favor and check to make sure you’re registered at your current address. Register if you need to. Make a plan to vote, and take advantage of early voting if you can –– chronic illness is unpredictable, and I don’t want you to be down for the count on November 6th. Confirm your polling place. Earn your “I voted” sticker. Buy yourself a patriotic donut.
The stuff in the paragraph above is the bare minimum. If you’re really nervous about things like an ACA repeal (which we all should be) and want to go above and beyond in your efforts to save our lives, VOLUNTEER! I know knocking doors is easier said than done for some members of the chronic illness community, but there are ways you can get involved that are a much lower lift. You can participate in phone banks from the comfort of your couch! If you’re high anxiety and talking on the phone terrifies you, text banks exist. Even just texting five friends and asking them to vote for pro-patient candidates can make a big difference.
I dream of living in a world where we’ve elected representatives who see patients as people, and I therefore don’t have to call my senators every three months begging for them to respect my life. I already spend a lot of time on the phone with my insurance company. I’d like to spend my free time baking and maybe finally getting around to watching Westworld.
So if you value the lives of the chronically ill, VOTE IN THE MIDTERMS. And if you don’t, DM me, I wanna fight.