Sure, folks are pissed-off, disappointed, disaffected or just disillusioned right now. But, if you don't get out and vote on Tuesday, you're going to have a lot more to kvetch about for a lot longer than you might think.
Here's the problem - everyone is so focused on the Congressional horse races they're missing the serious implications for state and local politics in this election.
As with all years ending in zero, the US Census was taken in 2010. This non-political, once-a-decade counting of the population has a very real and lasting impact on the political process: redistricting.
You see, in most states, the political party that controls the state legislature in the year after a census is in charge of redistricting. This means that party that gets to draw the district boundaries for both state and federal legislative districts using the new Census data. These boundaries are in place for a full decade - until the next Census and next reapportionment.
This has huge consequences, folks.
The power to draw district boundaries means you can carve up various constituencies that aren't favorable to your party's candidates in ways that dilute that group's influence. For example, say you have an area that's heavily populated by LGBT folks and you know they tend to vote overwhelmingly for Democrats. If you're the Republicans, you want that voting bloc divvied between as many districts as possible so all those LGBT folk aren't voting in the same contests. When you control the legislature during a redistricting year, you control this power.
What you get are districts that are tailor-made - using sophisticated computer software, detailed demographic info from the Census and prior election data - to ensure the controlling party's candidate is favored over the opposition by insurmountable margins.
So you think things are bad now? Imagine what it will be like if the Republicans are allowed to control the state and federal legislative district boundaries for the next 10 years.
Remember - the Republican party nearly universally opposes:
- Inclusive ENDA
- Hate crimes protections
- DADT repeal
- DOMA repeal
- Adoption rights
- Marriage equality
- Federal benefits for legally married couples
- LGBT-inclusive immigration reform
- Any form of transgender inclusion/acceptance
Are these the people who should be given the power to draw political boundaries that will be with us for a decade?
Should good, pro-equality state and local candidates have to suffer and be at a disadvantage for years to come because of missteps in Washington?
Is being dissatisfied with the real and quantifiable progress of the past two years really enough to give the Republicans the advantage in federal, state and local politics for the next decade?
The answer to each of those questions: Hell no!
So go vote tomorrow. The progress of LGBT rights over the next decade may depend on it.