American Apathy

“I don’t vote,” he said.



“What?” I replied.  “But, you’re a gay man.  It’s important.”


“I don’t think it matters,” he said.  “I don’t really think my vote counts or makes a difference.”


“I don’t really read the paper,” she said.


“What?  But, you’re a smart woman in her 20s who wants to get ahead in the world,” I said.


“Yeah, but it’s boring and I really don’t need to know what else is going on in the world.”



Then September 11th happened.


I’m not kidding.  I had the above conversation with a girl who I used to waitress with.  I’m not sure if her opinion changed on the matter, but I will say that after September 11th, I caught her reading like crazy.  Reading newspapers.  Reading newspapers about other “boring” places.


The gay man, above that, I’m not sure he votes even now.  When he first told me this, it made me really angry.  Now, years later, I think of the source – a gay, Orthodox, Jewish man who does not wish to live his life as gay because “gay people have psychological issues.”  So, he lives his “gay” life as a celibate life, so he can retain his Orthodoxy.  I suppose, in that sense, the “gay” is in theory as opposed to in practice.


Well, if you can do or be something merely in theory, then I’m a goddermned unicorn.


Sweet Mother, is that you? Why yes.


Note to self:  regain composure after unicorn outburst.  Okay, I’m back.


I relay these above two anecdotes to you for a reason.  Both of them are indicative of a philosophy that I later developed in life.  That philosophy can be summed up as…


“I can’t save the world, but I will try to plug the hole, while you stand there doing nothing.”


or better said…


“I can’t save the world, but in my own small way, I’ll probably die trying.”


My cynical side would add:  “While YOU feckin’ stand there.”


I no longer get angry at widespread apathy.  I see it as ignorance.  I shrug it off and I go and try to plug the holes in my life and in the lives of those that I love around me.


This is why I vote.


For that reason and because there was a time – not so long ago – when women couldn’t.  I also vote because of money.  The gay marriage issue in the United States is now completely tied to money and benefits and fairness, in my point of view.  So, I will continue voting until we vote justice and equality back into the our laws.


I’m also going to vote for Obama.  There are many reasons why.  However, today, I think it’s important to give you a personal point of view as to why I will NOT be voting for Romney.


1.  I have a problem with polygamy.  Yes, of course, I realize that Romney is NOT a polygamist.  I do not think all Mormons are polygamists.  However, there is some evidence that members of Romney’s family were at one time.  What’s even more important to me is that there are factions of Mormonism that STILL abide by this practice.  One needs to look no further than Kody Brown and his “Sister Wives” to know that this is true.  That being said, I wouldn’t vote for an Orthodox Jew or a Mel-Gibson-Catholic either.  I abhor extremes.  Especially, extremes that have to do with religion where it connects with my government.  I don’t consider Romney extreme, but I don’t necessarily consider all Scientologists extreme either.  That doesn’t mean I’d vote for Tom Cruise…or Mitt.


2.  The women issue in general.  I question Romney’s regard for women.  Period.  Whether we are “in binders” or standing out in the open.


3.  Working and middle classes.  I question Romney’s regard for the working and middle classes.  I just do.  There’s his whole 47% comment.  As in, “I don’t need to worry about those 47% because all they want is a handout.”  I mean, come on!  Then there’s dressage.  Yes, I know that it’s just a sport and it’s a sport that Romney’s wife engages in and not Romney.  Regardless, I can’t think of a more snooty, white-gloved, privileged, sport for a first lady to engage in, unless of course, she put on a power suit and started kicking some minorities around.


4.  The gays.  There’s a wonderful little tidbit floating around the papers about how an lgbt lobbying group attended a meet and greet with Mitt Romney.  At the function, one of the lgbt members asked Romney, “What should I tell my child when they ask why their other parent is not on their birth certificate?”  First Romney was surprised that gays and lesbians were having children at all.  It seemed to be news to him.  Then he said something to the effect of, “Tell her that she’s adopted or whatever else it is that you’ve been telling her for the last 8 years.”  Callous to say the least.


5.  Then there’s the bullying.  If you don’t know when Romney was in high school, he led another group of boys on a hunt after another boy.  (He LED that group!)  Once they found the boy, they pushed him to the ground and cut off his longer hair.  I get it.  It was high school.  Everybody is a little bit of an a-hole in high school.  However, try as I might, I can’t remember one incident in school where I EVER bullied anyone that badly.  I’m sorry, but the President should be better than me – on most, if not all, accounts.


6.  The dog on the roof thing.  Who in the feck ties a dog to the roof of their car??!!  Enough said.



Lastly, I like SOME of what Romney said during the debates.  I liked some of the points he illustrated.  But, I don’t trust him.  I think he will get us into the same financial mess that Republican presidents before him have.  I think he will cut, cut, cut for the rich and tell us to “spend, spend, spend.”  Spend money we don’t have and buy houses we can’t afford, sending us further into debt.


Oh and then there’s that little Hurricane Sandy thing and that whole climate change nonsense.  When Bloomberg, who ran as a Republican, endorses Obama and when Colin Powell, also a Republican, does as well…you sort of have to go – who’s really the better choice here?


So vote.


Vote or shut up when things don’t go your way.


Actually, think of it as “securing bitching privileges” when you don’t get what you want.


It’s really that simple.


Much love,


Sweet Mother



Sweet Mother is updated daily-ish.  If you’d like to join the mayhem, you can do so by clicking “follow” at the top of this blog.



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Photo creds:

uni, vote-poster, dogsagainstromney


49 thoughts on “American Apathy

  1. I’m a news junkie; I can’t imagine being otherwise. Part of it may be an age thing–when I was in my twenties, I was more focused on trying to make enough money to pay rent. I probably didn’t spend too much time reading the papers. But sadly, there is far too much apathy out there. That being said, I imagine your post today could ignite a few sparks. 😉

    Always a pleasure to read you, SM. 🙂

      1. I’ll look for it. I’m heading out of town tomorrow for the rest of the week, so forgive me if it takes me some time to respond (I’m assuming it’s about the interview). I won’t be on my laptop much.

  2. I used to not vote. I lived in Illinois (therefore pointless, Chicago would take care of it for me) and I was in the middle of my personal ideological struggle that ended in me sitting crankily on my couch with the TV off and the door locked on election day so I could sit there and despise everyone in peace.

    Then I moved to a place where my vote DOES count! Hurrah!

    But I agree; we can’t trust Mitt Romney. He’s changed his tune so many times and seems willing to say literally anything to get elected. It’s gross.

    In my ideal political world, the parties would fraction, getting rid of the whackos on both ends of the extremes (“You go do your own thing, Tea Party!), and we’d have a more interesting race based on the rational middle ground that I would hope comprises most of America.

    1. i completely agree that we need a third party or more parties…at least ones that have a valid chance of winning and not just the parties of roseanne and perot, if you know what i mean. i think the argument that you made of ‘i lived in a place where it didn’t matter’ is one that A LOT of people make. while living in the u.s., i’ve always lived in ny or ca and you can always say that your vote doesn’t matter in those states, as they almost always go blue, as led by the cities. but, i vote anyway because, well, because there was some poor broad at some point who couldn’t… and because i feel like it cancels out a conservative’s vote. bwwaaahhhhaaa. xo, sm

  3. Thanks for this post. I saw a great bumper sticker in Mill Valley recently: Mitt Happens.

    The choice is ours tomorrow and I encourage everyone to get out and vote.

  4. I can’t WAIT to vote!! I do have those times when I look at our system, the electoral college, all the flaws, and doubt that my one vote will make a difference. But I do it anyway. I do it because that’s what democracy is all about, and if I reap the benefits of this society (which everyone does, to some extent), then my duty is to participate.

  5. I have no room for apathy. Even if you show up and spoil your ballot I think you’re still doing an important job of participating. At least you’re saying “I don’t like either of you a-holes”. People die for the right to vote. It baffles me that people don’t take this privilege seriously enough to read a website and check a box.

    1. “people die for the right to vote.” oh, roller, how right you are. and it is endlessly amazing to me that privileged people don’t realize that. i use to get really mad about it. then i realized i could only control myself and there will be idiots everywhere no matter what you do… much love, sm

  6. Glad we are voting on the same side. I agree with the issue of TRUST. Can you trust a man that will not divulge his taxes for the past 10 years and adjusted his 2011 rate so that it appeared to be above 10%? I also find that there has been an undercurrent of a racial/class divide within the GOP(47%). He has never come out and shut down the rhetoric. He has a deep belief in the right to life movement and yet doesn’t believe in a national healthcare system. He does not believe in LGBT issues at all. And as a woman, I am not in his binder nor will I ever be.

    It is interesting that he has lied on multiple occasions when the audience is large enough. Backed these lies up and then proceed to adjust those statements when the audience is smaller. He is counting on Americans to not vote, to not read, and not be educated. That way we won’t uncover the facts.

    None of what he has done represents what I believe a President is and will be. Yet, I trust the American people. I trust that there has been more fact checking by individuals than in any other race. I believe we will make the right decision. Key factor: we all MUST vote. That’s the one fact no one can debate.

    1. “I am not in his binder nor will I ever be.” — oh, cuz. i loved that line. yep, we vote on the same side today and for a lot of the same reasons. i just don’t trust romney and i honestly feel that obama is doing his best with the shit pile he was dealt. so, i’ll be watching the polls right after we both vote. here we go… xoxo, sm

  7. In Oz we do this interesting thing. We give up some of our freedoms for the greater good. So, everyone MUST wear a seatbelt or motorbike helmet, vote, not smoke in food establishments, vote, keep noise sensible after 9pm and be quiet after 11pm and lastly VOTE! It is our only chance to promote change for our future, Please America, VOTE
    Portia x

    1. hopefully, most of us will. but, we are a stupid, over privileged lot sometimes. one thing i can promise is that myself and wifesy will be at the polling place come 6pm today. much love, sm

  8. The first time I voted I passed my grandma coming out of the polling place. She could no longer walk on her own and had a pretty serious palsy in her hands. Getting her in there, getting her in the booth and getting her ballot punched right was a challenge to say the least – she would not have skipped it, so how can I even think of skipping it.

    1. “so how can i even think of skipping it.” — great line in a great comment. there’s this wonderful erol morris film floating around the internet about voting. in it, an african american man talks about how his grandmother. HIS GRANDMOTHER, could not vote until she was 45 years old. she was 45 years old before she could legally vote and he said something similar to you. “how can i not, then?” how, indeed. people’s memories are too easily erased sometimes… xo, sm

      1. “i’m sorry, that was stronger than me…” bwwwaahaahhahahaha, i don’t know what was funnier, your joke or your follow up line. shesus christ, i think we have awakened the hilarious monster in you! momma loves! and seriously, great canadica post today. xoxo

  9. Even if someone doesn’t like the candidates on the ballot, get in there and write in who you think would be good. The right to vote has been earned through the blood, sweat, tears, and lives of so many who risked everything so future generations would have this freedom of choice. We shouldn’t dishonor their efforts.

    We had early voting in Maryland, and my husband and I gladly stood in line and waited our turn.

      1. It was great. We went after dinner on the first Saturday and had about an hour’s wait in line. I’ve heard we had very good turn out for it. I’m all for the idea because, frankly, one day isn’t enough for our current population size. Unless we’re going to quadruple (or even deca-ruple) the number of polling places, there are too many people for the hours in the day.

      2. completely true. i don’t know why in the hell the whole thing is not automated by now anyway… but, then someone would hack into the computer and derail the entire us election… or at least that would make an awesome novel idea. looool. xo

      3. I’m seeing reports that people are doing just that. An election worker was pulled out in Oregon because she was caught altering ballots. A machine has been taken out of service in Pennsylvania because it was caught “flipping” a vote. I hate to think the day has come where US elections need UN observers to guard against voting fraud.

  10. I don’t even want to say vote or keep your mouth shut. JUST VOTE. We are fortunate to live in a country where it’s a privilege and a right. If we lost it, we’d sure wish we’d gotten out and done it.

    1. BTW: Mom, come over to my TFTM FB page and share your NaNoWriMo stats. I’m posting mine daily, and would love to see some others share. It’s so exciting and encouraging to see others knock out the numbers. Keeping up with blog too… that’s another story! Missed my post today, and need to get back in that saddle. Come join me. 🙂 xox

      1. I’m keeping up with nano, but it’s not easy. That’s why I suggested cutting back on your blog. Sometimes, it’s really the smart thing to do, to get your mojo going again. The FB page requires nothing other than sharing your nano stats, for FUN. No competition. F.U.N. I’ve voted baby… wouldn’t think of missing it! As I wrote today, thoughts like that keep me up! :-p

    1. it really isn’t. sometimes i felt like i had these arguments until i was blue in the face. then i just got tired of it and thought, ‘a man’s opinion changed against his will, is of the same opinion still…’ you can’t make anyone think or do anything. you just have to hope that most people are reasonable and will do the ‘right’ thing. much love, mother

  11. I really wish I could vote in your elections but I like being Australian too much. If I could vote though, I’d vote for Obama. Not just because I dislike Romney for all the reasons you named, esp. the dog, but for a few positive reasons as well. The first is that I don’t think Obama is a terribly ‘good’ politician. In my book that counts as a great big positive because some days I would like to line all the successful politicians, and their spin doctors, up against a wall and pelt them with rotten tomatoes. I am so very, very sick of politicians. Another positive in my book is that Obama fought so hard for Obamacare. I know he’s hated for it in the US but here in Australia we believe that adequate health care is a right, not a privilege. My final positive is a strange one. Obama looks a bit like my ex husband. My ex is anglo indian not african american but they are kind of similar in looks. Luckily for Obama I’m still friends with my ex., mainly because he’s basically a good man. And I think Obama is too.

    1. omg, OBAMA LOOKS LIKE YOUR EX HUSBAND??!!! your ex was cute then. obama is such a cutie to me. and i really like a lot of what you said about him being an ‘outsider’ politician or not really a politician at all. i totally agree. and then there is obamacare… to be honest, a lot of us here, LIKE the idea of that. we just get drowned out by the loud feckers who don’t like it. who make up ridiculous shit like, ‘no my dad won’t be able to get his heart meds’ – i mean what in the feck are you talking about. it’s conservative panic. that’s all it is. obamacare is a GOOD thing. much love, sm

      1. Oh I’m so relieved to hear you say that about Obamacare. My daughter has quite a few online friends [from the US] who are quite sick and would be pretty much destitute if Obamacare was wiped out. There are people who will try to rort any and every system, but that’s still no excuse for not helping the genuinely needy…

        Anyway, yes, my ex was quite cute. Not sure what he’s like now as he lives in the states and we don’t see him often. From memory he has less hair than Obama though. 😉

  12. I have never been apathetic. I was arrested at 11 years old at a Vietnam protest. I led sit ins at my middle school. I voted the minute I could and have always been a political wonk, always been mired in it, up to my neck. I have been a progressive all my life, no sooner could I think I was arguing with my oh so regressive South Texas family about Civil Rights and why there was signs that said “Whites Only”.

    Yeah no, I have no tolerance for the Republicans of today. While I am strong believer in the need for opposition to make our government work properly the GOP of today, at least the Party not necessarily their sheeple following, are traitors to our Republic. Since slightly before Reagan these right-wingnuts have set out to destroy this nation, the Constitution and all it stands for. The evidence has always been right in front of us but apathy is their best friend.

    I just finished posting the final installment of the PBS series Race 2012, this series though focused on race within the context of the Obama presidency, it is about poverty, disenfranchisement and the loss of the Republic and The Commons.

    Great job SM, as always Great Job.

    1. and as always, val. great comment. i do hope that one day we can have a drink together. because i do like you so much. i think we are of similar minds as apathy is so foreign to my being that i literally recoil at the thought of it. i am also in agreement that the republican party has gone too far. there used to be republican moderates that i could almost side with. there were bloomberg republicans – social liberals, but fiscal conservatives. that seems to have changed and not for the better. sigh. anyway, i hope everyone reads your comment. much love, sm

      1. Sitting down for a drink, I think that would be grand. Next time I travel your way I will drop you a note. You can spend the evening with wifesy trying to convince this Texan your part of the world isn’t as scary as I think it is. 😉

      2. whahahhhahahahaht? but, you’ll have to explain texas to us! loool. except austin. i understand austin. and 100% we’re having that drink. you let me know when you’re out this way. xo

  13. if i could vote in USA…i would vote fro Obama
    Sweet Mom this is a great post..

    “I can’t save the world, but I will try to plug the hole, while you stand there doing nothing.”” this is so awesome…
    I didnt know Romney was a bully but i do knw he doesn’t respect women and Gays and Lesbians…the most powerful man on earth being a racist…not cool…

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