If you have not figured it out from all the yard-signs and dramatic television ads, it is unfortunately election season once again.
If you’re anything like me, you have been inundated with ads, text messages, emails and campaign materials for the past 18 months from every candidate who has your address and phone number. While it can get exhausting, it is important to remember why all of this is happening: you need to vote!
You have probably had the ‘it is your civic duty’ mantra drilled into your brain since elementary school — but it is true. Our democracy relies on us to be informed and active participants. No matter your party affiliation, you should cast your vote.
But if you will allow me, I have a special request for you: use your vote wisely. And in 2022, that means vote for Democrats. As I’ve written before, the Republican Party is a danger to the democracy that we hold so dear. If we want to continue living in a democracy, it’s imperative that the right-wing doesn’t continue to gain power.
The balance of the U.S. Senate rests here in Pennsylvania. With that comes reproductive rights, cancellation of college debt, voting rights and our response to climate change. If we want any of those issues to move in a positive direction, we have to make sure Democrats control the House and Senate in January.
The Senate also has control of judicial confirmations. We cannot allow a repetition of the obstruction Mitch McConnell oversaw that robbed Merrick Garland of a Supreme Court seat and stopped President Obama from filling over 100 judicial vacancies. These appointments last a lifetime, and they will have disastrous effects for literal generations to come.
In this race we have two choices: a public servant who has spent the last 16 years serving his community, or a snake-oil salesman turned carpetbagger. Mehmet Oz is a television con-man who is only running because the GOP needed a living body. John Fetterman is a progressive who’s fighting for every Pennsylvanian.
A lot of noise has been made about Fetterman’s stroke back in May. A lot of disgusting and ableist noise, I might note. But while Fetterman is on track to a full recovery, Oz will always be a fraud who’s trying to find a new audience to swindle.
In Pennsylvania, we’re also voting for Governor. Our choices could not be more different from each other. On the Democratic side, we have Josh Shapiro — a tested leader who has served in elected office for over 15 years.
On the Republican side, we have Doug Mastriano — a far-right Christian nationalist who wants to ban abortion (with no exceptions) and who has been on the forefront of pushing baseless election conspiracy theories.
Only one of these men is qualified to be our next Governor. And only one party is standing up to defend democracy from wannabe fascists clad in red baseball caps.
Make sure you vote today. If the right gets its way, you won’t have another chance.