Illinois Democratic gubernatorial candidate JB Pritzker sent me a request to vote-by-mail form.
I don’t know why. Data analytics and targeted advertising are weird like that. Admittedly all my past votes were by mail from college out of state, and almost straight-ticket Democratic votes too. Nothing in my media diet/data suggests I’d even consider voting Republican, despite both my parents’ preferences. I tend to feign disinterest when political topics come up at home; it’s just not worth burning up their goodwill on why Medicare for All and defending the rights of marginalized people matter more than their tax rate, as I build up the savings to responsibly move out—again.
In any case, it appears that JB Pritzker’s question for me was not “Can I convince you to vote for me, The Good Billionaire who wants to legalize weed, raise the minimum wage, Resist Trump and all that other Bernie-lite stuff?” but rather, an assumption close: “Are you gonna vote? It’s so easy! Here’s the form.” No mailers addressed to me, fearmongering about reproductive rights under a Republican attorney general, or the Democrat in uniform directly petitioning Republicans to re-elect him sheriff. Just a branded envelope demanding: Vote [for me]!
Points to JB for his directness: If I hadn’t sent in the IL Secretary of State’s request form, I would’ve used his. I’m sure as hell not voting for the other plutocrat, Republican candidate Bruce Rauner, who’s cosplaying as a Bikers For Trump guy or something in his reelection bid.
Still, this liberal presumptuousness reeks of the bloodless, morally stoic technocratism of neoliberal Democrats that has led them to the cliff-edge of irrelevance in the face of literal modern fascism.The mailer and JB’s view of me reminds me of the DNC’s attempted rebrand under caretaker-regent Tom Perez, with the proposed motto “I mean, have you seen the other guys?” (Truly an inspirational message that’ll win back the 1000+ statehouse seats lost under Obama; a better world is possible! At least I wasn’t told to Pokémon Go to the Polls.)
I’ve been in Illinois for the majority of the Trump presidency, and have experienced a quiet despair in my powerlessness. I’m not in a battleground district where My Vote Matters. Voting Democrat will not bring back the lives recently lost to far-right terrorists. Pritzker et al. will probably not deliver an environmental program that will prevent Trump’s “banter” on shooting asylum seekers from sounding like a premonition of my life to come. State party boss Mike Madigan won’t be defenestrated by ballot.
Maybe my mail-in vote can help install some Our Revolution-endorsed county judges. Maybe it will say to Governor “Good” Billionaire, “Hey, I’m a millennial AND I vote. Take me seriously!”
Sam Spouth, Election Day