Election 2012: I Know You’re Tired, But...

Thu. November 1, 2012 12:00 AM
by Waymon Hudson

It's that time of the campaign season we all know is coming, but try to put off as long as possible-- Campaign Fatigue Time.

After months... hell, years... of campaign emails, commercials, talking heads, and "breaking news," it's the final stretch of Election 2012. And let's be honest-- we're all tired. We've yelled at the TV during debates, FaceBooked our fingers off, and worked hard for the candidates and issues we care about. And it has been exhausting.

I know you're tired. I'm tired too. But now is when we have to dig deep and get the job done.

I think more than other election I can remember, this one has strained our collective sanity and relationships. Social media has given us a glimpse into the often frustrating small-mindedness of friends, where we get an unfiltered view of their ignorance, or worse, open defiance of issues that matter to us. I've seen the "if you vote for candidate X, then unfriend me" meme swirl around as lifelong friends block each other over contentious political views. And I get it. I really do.

But what if, instead of de-friending those we disagree with, we kept pushing and trying to have a dialogue? What if, instead of retreating to the safety of our corners where people agree with us, we shared our personal stories and the direct effect this election will have our our lives? Will we change the minds of the belligerently stubborn person who refuses to debate policy, but talks in empty talking points and platitudes? Probably not, but we may shift the views of the people reading the exchange that don't always comment or take such hardline stances.

To be clear, I know elections bring out the worst in people. Hearing that people you know and love are actively and knowingly voting against your life, your family, and your very equality as an American is exhausting and disheartening. But when you're tired and burnt out is when you have to dig deeper and keep fighting.

Yes, I'm tired. Yes, I'm frustrated. Yes, I want to angrily shake every "undecided" voter by the shoulders and ask what the hell they are thinking. But I guarantee I'll be much more tired, frustrated and angry if we allow a candidate like Mitt Romney to get elected and pick Supreme Court Justices, roll back LGBT equality and women's rights, weaken regulations on the very banks and institutions that caused our massive economic recession, and take us back to the disastrous path of war and aggression we have been slowly climbing our way out of. And the stakes are just as high with races up and down the ballot, with control of the House and Senate, marriage rights in four states, and the fate of state and local leaders hanging in the balance.

This isn't the time to stop having the hard conversations with those that oppose us-- it's the time to fight harder and stay in the conversation to make our voices heard. It's time to not only get out and vote ourselves, but make sure those in our lives show up at the polls as well. It's time to keep breaking through the lies, smears, and obfuscation of the last days of the campaigns with facts, truth, and sheer determination.

Shake off the fatigue. Let the anger and frustration fuel you. There is still work to be done, no matter how tired we all are of this seemingly endless election cycle. The fight is not over yet.