JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

The vote

Not sure who’s going to win today’s presidential election, but I am sure I have zero patience for those who don’t vote.

Moments ago, was sitting here at the Corner Bakery in Orange County, California. Asked one of the employees who she thought would win tonight. She was, oh, 25.  She looked at me and shrugged—”I don’t vote.”

Uh, you don’t vote.

“No, I don’t like either of them.”

Her colleague, of the same age range, admitted she wasn’t even registered.

Pathetic.

I get being a Democrat, I get being a Republican, I get being an independent. I get showing up, entering the voting booth and leaving a slot vacant if both candidates disgust you; or writing in your mom, your dad, Peter Criss, Bobby Bonilla, the Ghost of Shannon Hoon.

What I don’t get, however, is shrugging and doing nothing.

I’m far from a flag-waving, America-can-do-no-wrong patriot. There’s much about this country I loathe. I’m an oft-frustrated, oft-agitated, oft-angry citizen who vents and bitches with the best of them.

I also, however, know how impactful my vote is. And, by that, I don’t mean my singular vote will make the difference between Mitt Romney or Barack Obama. No, I mean people truly died to gain this right, and then to protect it. My grandparents, Curt and Marta Herz, fled Nazi Germany not merely to stay alive, but to find freedom and liberty. I owe it to them—and millions of others—to exercise that right. Hell, to proudly and boldly exercise that right.

“I don’t like either of them.”

Pathetic.