On Undecided Voters: To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. "Can I interest you in the chicken?" she asks. "Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?"To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.— David Sedaris, American humorist
It's Election Day in America.
The choices have never been more stark.
Rarely, in the history of this nation have the choices been more polar opposites, more obvious.
So, if you're still undecided this morning...
...maybe democracy isn't for you
...seriously, maybe you're just too damn stupid for democracy
...maybe you should be living in a monarchy where government is made up of a hereditary chinless hemophiliac aristocracy and you don't actually have to do anything other than just follow orders like a good little peasant
...or one of those "Democratic Republic of" totalitarian states where you get to vote for whoever the government tells you to vote for and everybody else gets taken out back and shot
...yeah, maybe totalitarianism is more your speed
...maybe you're just a fascist.
Because if you're still undecided at this point, you're basically those Germans who pretended they weren't actual Nazis while the ash from the crematoriums fell around them like snow.
The truth of the matter is that you've decided.
See, if you're still undecided at this point you've decided on fascism.
If you're still undecided at this point, you've decided that no matter how it shakes out, you'll be okay.
You've decided that you don't give a shit about anybody but yourself. And you? Well, you'll be fine. You're white. You're male. You're straight. You're Christian. You're rich -- or rich enough. You're privileged in some way, in enough ways, that you'll be fine. You're okay. You'll be dead before the bill comes due. It's not you they're coming for. You can afford to be undecided. You can stay home. You can throw your vote away.
You've decided that only profit matters.
You've decided it's okay for you to pay for the wealthy, and they they shouldn't have to pay their fair share.
You've decided freedom, liberty, justice, those things are only for those who can afford it.
You've decided you don't give a damn about the poor, the hungry, the sick, the homeless, the disfranchised. You've decided that those people have it coming.
You've decided you don't care if American citizens get shot down in the street by militarized police.
You've decided that you're okay with racism.
You've decided that seeing the Nazi flag and that of the Confederacy in the streets of America, the very symbols of hate, genocide, and slavery, is something you're comfortable with.
You've decided that a president who daily lies to your face and calls it patriotism is something you want.
You've decided you prefer conspiracy theory and hysteria to unpleasant truth and science and reason.
You've decided that you just don't give a goddamn about the future, about the world you're leaving for your children and mine. If the seas rise and the forests burn and the crops die, you're okay with that. After all, you won't be around to see it and you've decided your profit and your comfort and your politics today are more important to you than a decent future for someone else.
You've decided that 220,000 dead Americans don't matter. They were just losers anyway.
You've decided that owning the libs, pissing people off, malice for the sake of malice, is who you are.
That's who you are.
You've decided that you want to live in a nation surrounded by walls and barbed wire and machine guns. You've decided that you want to live in a prison of your own making, rather than do one goddamned thing to make the world a better place.
If you're undecided at this point, you've decided.
You're just ashamed of your decision and don't have the guts to admit it.
You're not a patriot.
You're not an idealist.
You're not standing on principle, because you really don't have any.
No. You're an arsonist.
But, see, people die in a fire, and you, you dirty rotten lazy selfish son of bitch, you just want to watch them burn.
Arson isn't principle, it's terrorism.
And if even if you yourself didn't light the match, if you stand by, undecided, and watch others start the fire, well, you're still a terrorist.
That's who you've decided to be.
But you can change that.
If you truly want a better nation, then you need to be a better citizen.
Now -- right now -- is that moment.
You can't blame anyone else. No one but yourself. You have to make your own choices and live every agonizing day with the consequences of those choices.
― Max Brooks, World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War
Glad you're here and writing, Chief, very much.ReplyDelete
Joshua Todd James
*standing, whistling ovation* 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽ReplyDelete
Another veteran who gets it. I know most of us do, but so refreshing to see it. Thanks, Jim, for everything you do. I've been reading you for a couple of years but first real comment. Thanks!ReplyDelete
Once again, you say everything I've been thinking but don't have anywhere near the gift of words you possess. You speak truth. These folks who claim to be undecided are ashamed to OWN their decision. You have "you are my God" as a joke up there... but you know, if I HAD a god, you'd be a damn fine one!ReplyDelete
You never disappoint. Thank you! At one time I trusted the American people; I no longer trust them to do the right thing. I hope and pray that I will be pleasantly surprised and they will fool me and peace, sanity and the good stuff return and/or be sent to Washington, DC after this election cycle.ReplyDelete
" ... if you're still undecided at this point, you're basically those Germans who pretended they weren't actual Nazis while the ash from the crematoriums fell around them like snow."
Or you are one of the "We're Not Racists!" who refuse to see .Delete
Great close Jim. Let’s hope it works.ReplyDelete
Reading this was a lovely way to start this day, and I truly thank you for it because it is going to be a very looooooong day.ReplyDelete
One of these days we really need to start teaching civics again.ReplyDelete
Jim never should have needed to (ahem) wright this.
I see what you did there.Delete
Thank You so much, may your strength endure.ReplyDelete
damn I wish more of the guys I served with in the Navy had half the heart you show up with -- I've left off interacting with 80% or more of them - thanks for what you do.ReplyDelete
Thank you for putting so clearly what this election is all about. Maria Jose SilvaReplyDelete
All I can say is a heartfelt, "Thank you." So, thank you.ReplyDelete
A dear friend of mine has 4 covid symptoms, but tested negative. Her husband has none so far, but tested positive. They did everything right... except that he works for a non-profit, and people turned wearing a mask into a political statement. They are in quarantine, which they won't break, because they are responsible citizens.ReplyDelete
And I am fucking furious that the least action to help other people stay safe got politicized.
I am an old white woman. I have decided that, even though I live in a deeply scarlet area (S.Dakota) of America, I will NOT be silent or not make waves. I'm voting for decency today. Which is most definitely NOT Trump.ReplyDelete
I am FB friends with a woman who escaped the US several years ago and lives in France. She is a self-avowed anarchist, but damn!, she is so savvy on the ways of the political world (not just the USA) that I find myself nodding in agreement with her more often than not. One of the reasons that I asked to "friend" her was that I saw real discussions among the multitude of friends she has which were actually civil and respectful. Imagine that! She is saying, and I think rightly so, that we will never truly "go back" to "normal", whatever that was. We have seen the enemy. We/they can no longer go back and hide who we/they are. She thinks there is a possibility of the US becoming a group of entities much like the EU. She hopes she's wrong, but she sees too many parallels between what's happening here and Franco's Spain to be ignored.
I hope she's wrong. I'm voting today for decency. For my grandchildren, and my half-Lakota greatgrandchild. I'm voting for a country where people don't shout each other down and roll over for the uber wealthy. I have never missed an election since I became old enough to vote back in the 60s. I'm sure as hell not sitting this one out!
Thanks for all you do, Jim. I appreciate you every day.
I wish my 2 brothers (Navy) and sister (Army) would or could read this, but they are too far gone. They think I betrayed my oath of enlistment. I don't even deserve to call myself a Gold Star parent. The division won't be healed in my lifetime. Thank you for a great piece.ReplyDelete
I’m sad that your family is too far gone. My law enforcement “family” is in the same position.Delete
I am so sorry that you are dealing with that with your brothers. I am active duty (hence why I'm posting anonymously) and I want to let you know that not all of the military supports fascism. Of course, you probably already know that, but I want to make you know that you are not alone. Much love.Delete
I'm with you on this too. After 4 years of this clown car how can anyone be undecided. If you have paid attention at all to what has occurred during his tenure, then you should have already decided.ReplyDelete
Well said. I couldn't agree more. Thank you for all you do.ReplyDelete
"Did you exchange a walk-on part in a war with a lead role in a cage?" -- Wish you Were Here, Pink FloydReplyDelete
Thank you for your courage and your stamina. Sincerely.
This articulation of these “choices” is as clear and concise as anything I have read. Bravo Zulu.ReplyDelete
Chief - Thanks for identifying - in stark terms - the issues extant in this election. Those that claim to be 'undecided' are deceiving themselves (assuming they have some conscience) or in denial (it's tough to admit one was wrong before). There's a third reason: I call it the 'drawbridge' philosophy, where once across the drawbridge they are safe and raise it, and let those that follow be damned. These are trying times but it is great to hear, read and see those whose values are more accurately reflective of our country and our Constitution. Be well, be safe.ReplyDelete
I'd throw third party voters in there too.ReplyDelete
I said the same thing to my daughters just yesterday. To vote third party when the country is on fire is like opting to sit by the curb and wait for the fire department when there is a hose in your hand.Delete
I am normally a third-party voter, including 2016 where I thought I knew how terrible Trump could be (oh how wrong I was!) but I couldn't live with myself voting for Hillary.Delete
But not this year. Oh. Hell. No. I PROUDLY voted for Biden, I LOUDLY voted for Biden. I've never been so overjoyed to vote for a Democrat (a party that, while still better than the alternative, is not a particularly great bunch of folks themselves).
Biden is a deeply flawed candidate from a deeply flawed party, and his was still the only rational, reasonable, not-batship-insane option.
If there was to be any dim future for this country this election had to be a complete repudiation of Trump, Trumpsim, and all it stands for.
And yet, no. That fucking nutjob got millions more votes than 2016. MILLIONS.
I am extremely happy that Biden won... but I am TERRIFIED about Trump's gain and what that says about the true state of the US.
70 MILLION PEOPLE WERE ABSOLUTELY FINE WITH AN UNHINGED LUNATIC IN THE WHITE HOUSE.
The end is near... no doubt about it.
I definitely feel like this also totally applies to Trump voters. Kudos - so well written but those who need to read it the most, never will. Sad days we are living, let's hope we can take a step in the right direction with our votes this time.ReplyDelete
My grandfather left the Austro-Hungarian Empire before WWI because he refused to be part of their militarization. 3 uncles fought in WWII. Compared to that, voting is simple & painless. Thank you, Chief, for saying this better than I can.ReplyDelete
I almost hate "undecided" people more than Trumpsters. ALMOST. To me, Trumpsters are like Trump himself: stupid. Uniformed. Selfish. But the "undecided" are like Mitch McConnell: Fully aware of the evil they're doing and allowing. Cunning. I pray Biden wins. Our country can't survive four more years of either of them. #bidenharrisReplyDelete
Well stated, as usual. As a fellow veteran, I shake my head at those who fought the cold war against the authoritarianism on which Trump's character is modeled, and then cast their vote for more of the same. A vote for Trump is a vote for fascism and a vote uncast is more useless than an unflushed turd.ReplyDelete
Best advice ever. As for me, I'm re-watching "Game of Thrones." I started on Friday, and am halfway through it. :-)Delete
Thank-you, Jim, for your writings.
(This is my first post here. I thought I had posted this earlier, but it doesn't seem to have gone through.
Word of advice: Don’t watch TV tonight. Seriously, don’t do it. Obsessively refreshing news sites or following every prognosticating pundit and every minor development doesn’t help anything. It will only magnify your anxiety without doing anything to affect the result. I intend to shut the TV off, log off Twitter and Facebook, and do everything I can to relax and get a good night’s sleep.ReplyDelete
Best advice ever. As for me I'm re-watching "Game of Thrones." I started on Friday, and I'm half way through. :-)Delete
Thank-you, Jim, for your writings.
That's what I did and my anxiety levels dropped way off. I've carried that action (avoiding second by second news) until today, Friday; anxiety level still down. I haven't turned on the radio here at my office, and it's set to the PBS station, and am just fine with no news, even with no music and best of all, no political commentary.Delete
Salute!!! 80 years ago this week, the First Armored Division was formed, my father was one of the founding group of soldiers. Two years later they were in North Africa, sent there to remove a Nazi and a Fascist from power. Will these "undecideds" keep the Orange Mussolini in the White House, and if so who will save us from him in the future?ReplyDelete
The degree of detachment from the rest of the world to be "undecided" in this election is beyond my ken. I share your frustration.ReplyDelete
Thank you, sir, your ability and willingness to say the things that need to be said. I'd encourage yout to consider running for office, but I honestly believe writing is your true calling; I'd much prefer you continue holding the appropriate feet to the fire.ReplyDelete
A friend of friend couldn't compromise his principles so he chose not to vote for either presidential candidate. Damn his principles!ReplyDelete
...seriously, maybe you're just too damn stupid for democracyReplyDelete
Thanks for standing tall, taking all the crap and saying it perfectly Chief - from a former Jarhead, Iraq War veteran and diehard fan. Semper Fi
I have loved ones who are totally hypnotized by the Fox News bubble. All I can do is hope that they finally see reality.ReplyDelete
Couldn't quite anoint you my new deity, but I do love squirrels.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Jim. Good piece.ReplyDelete
And the same goes for wearing masks and staying AT LEAST six feet apart. The old bit about "your freedom to swing your fist ends where my nose begins" works now but as "your freedom to exhale ends six feet from where my nose begins".ReplyDelete
On target, as usual. I'd say that near half of our fellow Americans have chosen to follow the terrorist path. sighReplyDelete
Another essay for the ages. Hopefully enough people will realize it before it truly is too late.ReplyDelete
I am just trying to figure out how this many people willingly chose the shit sandwich.ReplyDelete
Two weeks ago, as I gathered the sample ballot, the voting books with the candidate statements, the League of Women voters booklet, the tablet with the online debates queued up, my notebook, and my pen, I kept chanting to myself, "if you want a better government, you have to be a better citizen." Four hours of research into all the local candidates and issues was a good price to pay to know I did my duty. Thanks for reminding us of our obligations to ourselves and each other.ReplyDelete
Congratulations folks!!!!! all he very best from Canada <3ReplyDelete
I am also breathing a (qualified) sigh of relief. But still worried about what chicanery will happen between now and Jan 21. I was born in the States but now happily in Canada -- and I look at the Covid numbers every day and cry for all the lives lost too soon. As a hospital worker (medical transcriptionist) I know the despair and fear of my colleagues too.ReplyDelete
I've been following Stonekettle Station for a while, subscribe by email, but haven't received any emails since May. I tried resubscribing, but was told I was already subscribed. I've been checking in and catching up, but I wonder if someone could look into what happened.
But keep up the work. Likely you won't convince any Trumpists, but reading your screeds feels so good to the rest of us!
Well said brother.ReplyDelete