You Are Who You Vote For.
The phrase, “you are what you eat,” is a mantra of the healthy/pious crowd. I never liked it much myself, because it implies if I want to be human then I have to be a cannibal. The truth is, this phrase doesn’t have much to do with food or eating at all. Saying, “you are what you eat,” is an elegant way of saying a person’s choices accumulate, and eventually define who they are. This applies to much more than just food. We are forced to make choices all the time. Choices that define us to ourselves, and choices that define us to others. A lot of people know this, but never really acknowledge it.
It is a big responsibility, being responsible for yourself. There are a lot of different reasons to pursue a particular diet, but that choice is yours and yours alone. There are a lot of reasons to read certain books, or live in certain places. But reasons are not responsible for choices. People are. In a representative democracy, there are choices of which candidate to vote for, and reasons galore to support one politician over another. Again, the reasons are not responsible for the choices. People are.
If people are what they eat, then I say people are also who they vote for.
If a monster comes along and offers you salvation in exchange for your vote on Election Day, it might seem like an obvious choice. Salvation is good, and the monster can’t be that bad if he (or she) offered it. But that’s not the point. If you vote for a monster, then it makes you a monster, too. No way around it. It just is.
Now, you might say, “I voted for this monster because the other monster is worse,” and think this somehow makes you less monstrous. But it doesn’t. If you choose to eat poison then you will be poisoned. It doesn’t matter if you picked the least toxic from a spread of poison dished. A selection of various poisons is no selection at all. A choice between monsters isn’t really a choice. But there is still a choice available. To choose not to eat any poison. To not vote for any monsters.
It is true that if you eat nothing, then you will eventually waste away to nothing. It is also true that if you don’t vote, you lose your chance for influence. If you vote for no one, then you are no one. For some people, this is enough to cast a thousand votes for the worse monster. “Better to be a monster than a nobody! Right?”
Wrong. These people are weak, and afraid. And mistaken.
It seems many of us feel like nobody anyway. What do you have to lose when you don’t vote? Everything. Except your humanity.
Most of us will still vote in November, and for whatever reason will pick one monster over the other. But they will still be voting for a monster. Or a loser. So that leaves the civically minded with three options. They can be losers. They can be monsters. Or they can be nobodys. Too bad we can’t just choose a regular person.
You are who you vote for. You are what you eat.