Monday, May 14, 2018

Elections have consequences

Tomorrow is the Pennsylvania midterm Primary election. Anyone registered with a party can vote in that party's primary to determine who will be that party's nominee. It's the way things work in Pennsylvania, and in a lot of other states. Remember how well that idea went over last time? An Independent decided he should be the Democratic party's nominee, and when the Democrats instead chose to go with the Democrat as their nominee, his followers decided to throw the election to the Republican. And they did. And now the Republican is president. But, hey, that's all water under the bridge. (And what have the followers of the Independent candidate, who considered the Primary system to be so very unfair, done in the intervening two years to change the system? I do believe the answer is "nothing," though I could be wrong.)

Three months ago today, a white male adult walked into the 1200 building of Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Florida with a legally-obtained AR-15 (or an AR-15-style weapon) and a large supply of legally-obtained ammunition and killed seventeen students, teachers, and coaches. His plan to rain gunfire down on fleeing students was only thwarted by hurricane-proof windows. He escaped by blending into the crowd of fleeing students and was captured later that day. Florida's gun laws have long been dictated by the powerful anti-gun-control lobby, the N.R.A. Elected officials have either been in the pocket of the N.R.A., or have been afraid to stand up to them.

In Florida's midterms, a whole bunch of newly-eligible voters intend to do all they can to change the balance of political power. Will Pennsylvania voters be similarly energized by recent events? Or will the poor weather predicted for tomorrow convince many voters to stay home and not bother to vote?

Elections have consequences. Get out and vote.

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