Ok folks, here is where good ol' A.J. Tamko, or as many of you know me, Akton Tamko, starts really getting political. When I do TV and movie reviews for Akton Tamko's channel, I generally try to stay away from talking about politics directly. Although if you watch enough of my reviews, my point of view on topics related to sexism, racism, and general bigotry come through pretty clear. If you watch enough, and listen enough, it's pretty easy to label me with that dreaded "L-word." (And by that I mean "Liberal", not the Showtime TV series about lesbians). But still, I've never directly talked about specific political issues......until now. So if it's the kind of thing you don't want to read or hear about then, well, don't read it. No one is putting a gun to your head and forcing you to read this. Although someone easily could, as lax as the gun laws are in this country. (AH HA! I snuck that one in on you didn't I?) Anyways, if you don't want your author or youtube reviewer to get political, then quite simply, don't read. Unsubscribe from my youtube channel if you need to, refuse to buy my book if you must, but my views are my views, and I am going to talk about them here. You have been warned.
Now that all that's out of the way, let's get into the heart of the matter: the fact that the upcoming election day, that being November 6, 2018, scares the bejesus out of me. These are after all, very scary times in which we live. We have a President shouting hate speech, virtually begging his supporters to perform violent acts, and when they listen to him and start sending bombs to his political opponents, not only does he not discredit them, he actually says, "Can we get past this stupid bomb stuff and get back to the elections?" (Not a verbatim quote, but hey, it's a more accurate depiction than anything you'll get from the right, so why not?) Then just the other day, eleven innocent people are gunned down in a synagogue, and our commander in chief responds by throwing one of his hate rallies and justifies it by lying about what happened after 9/11. This is the world we live in.
Meanwhile, an accused sex offender gets put on the Supreme Court without any real kind of investigation (people close to the situation called the so-called investigation they did do "a joke") and this after he so elegantly displayed what a rational, intelligent man he is in front of billions of people watching on television. For this and other reasons, we now have to fear for the rights, if not the lives, of our brothers and sisters who are non-white, female, or transgender. This is the world we live in. Scary times.
So why does Election Day scare me so much then? Isn't this after all, when the Democrats are supposed to seize control of the House and the Senate? Don't we have a amazing candidates like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Beta O'Rourke who are going to energize the progressive base and lead a new age of Democratic dominance?
Uhhhhhh. I don't know? Do we really? That is what scares the crap out of me. On Election Day two years ago, after Trump was declared the winner, the only optimism anyone could cling on to was, "Well the Democrats will just have to take the Senate in 2018." Well, now it is 2018, and....what if the Democrats don't win? Then what? Are we going to go, "Ok, I was just kidding about 2018. 2020! That's when we'll take our country back. Yeaaaah 2020. Thats' the ticket." Will this democracy survive until 2020? Will we not just be a straight up fascist state by that point? Hell, are we really even a democracy right now?
And that is what scares me the most- the fact that many votes don't count, or that many eligible voters never get to vote at all. Voter suppression. It is real, and it can and will have a major effect on the upcoming election. Already I am reading about several Republican efforts to keep voters away from the polls, voters who are Native American, African American, or pretty much any American who is not likely to vote for them. This is what scares me the most. We don't actually live in a democracy anymore. I mean think about it, we have a President who lost the popular vote, meaning more people voted against him than for him. Let that sink in. Add to that, every poll in the world gives him a low approval rating. Every poll showed that the majority of Americans did not approve of Brett Kavanagh to the Supreme Court. Every poll shows that Americans are against building a wall, in favor of Medicaid for All. And yet we are ruled by people who do the exact opposite. The majority is being ruled by the minority? Explain to me how this is a democracy exactly. Isn't a democracy pretty much the exact opposite of that?
So this is why Election Day scares me so much. This is what's at stake here. Democracy. If the Democrats take control of even one house of congress, then it seems that the American People at least have a fighting chance. If the dems don't, things are going to be feeling even more bleak than they did two years ago when Trump was declared the winner of the election.
And that's what we need. It will be all well and good if Beta O'Rourke wins or if Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wins, but it will be meaningless if the Republicans still control all three branches of government. In order for this to be a true democracy, for there to be any sort of balance, any sort of oversight, then we need a congress that will hold the President accountable for his actions. We need a congress that will try to protect the rights of its citizens, not take them away. We need a congress that will try to give more people health care, not take it away. And if this doesn't happen, well, things will get pretty depressing around here.
What's really weird about this blog post is that I am writing it just over a week from Election Day. So for the majority of the life of this post, the reader will know what the result of that fateful day was. We'll either be thinking "Whew. Good thing that didn't happen" or "HELP! HELP! The Trump's Nazi soldiers are coming for my neighbor!" One or the other. Hopefully it's the former.
Anyways, if you need me on Election Day, I'll be in a tequilla induced coma until it's all over. I'm not sure if my nerves can take this.