I miss going to the ballot box. Not voting, I still do that, but the ballot box: you know, when we used to troop over to the local elementary school basement, where we were greeted by elderly volunteers and butter cookies. I remember my father being scolded by a volunteer for taking me into the voting booth and showing me the levers (one person at a time!). There was a pleasure, a mechanical satisfaction in pushing down each of the levers, then giving the master switch a big tug, which would simultaneously commit your vote, reset the levers and open the curtain.
That was voting. It felt transcendently civic, like a democratic communion, a political bar mitzvah.
Now, it feels like a bubble test. Answer “D” if you’re not sure.
But, it’s still voting. We’ve already run a “pro” and “con” article on Prop 1 (a levy to continue funding Seattle Parks), but it turns out there are some other issues on the ballot, as well. For that, we offer you Doug’s Voter’s Guide.
Now, every time I publish a voter’s guide, or any political opinion, I get a few readers who complain that political statements on Wallyh0od are inappropriate and unwanted. I reject these objections on at least two grounds.
First, this is a privately owned and operated media outlet. I built it hoping it would create and encourage community, but it’s not taxpayer or church or any public institution supported and has no obligation or even reason to be impartial. I didn’t apply for this job. I created it. I am a member of this community, and I get to speak my mind alongside everyone else.
Second, the notion that politics don’t belong in certain spheres of public discussion is ludicrous. The absolute most important place for people to speak their minds about political issues is a community forum, where neighbors get to speak and be heard by each other. If there are people that don’t want to engage in political discussion, they are welcome to not read the relevant posts, or even not read the blog. This isn’t a public school that you’re required to attend.
I created this forum as a way to help neighbors communicate. I will resist all attempts that seek to shut down those channels of communication. That said, I welcome opposing viewpoints, and if there is someone of a less progressive nature than Doug that wants to offer a voter’s guide, I’m happy to lend that person the conch. It’s only neighborly.