Why I Didn’t Vote

Tea Party RallyI know, break out the tar and feathers before I get away. I’m a horrible human being, I should be ashamed myself, I should have no say in politics, blah blah blah.

Let me tell you a little story. Perhaps it won’t be very compelling or important, and perhaps the opinion of one slightly unhinged free lance writer means nothing, but the truth is I never voted in my life until 2008.

I got caught up in the idea of ushering in some kind of enlightenment via a black president, not because I thought racial harmony would dawn or that Barack Obama was anything more than a politician, but because I thought that his election was a sign of things to come, i.e. people finally coming to their senses and abandoning all the nonsense ideas about the completely bullshit concept of race. Also, Sarah Palin scared the fuck out of me.

Boy, was I wrong. I was gloriously, spectacularly wrong. I have never in my 30 years on this earth seen anything like like what I’ve seen since Obama has been president. Never mind the racism, nor the laughable candidates and movements, nor the legions of white people who seem to think Armageddon is looming, nor the bullshit arguments and accusations leveled at the party in power, accusations that make no fucking sense. Never mind that both parties are virtually the same, that both are beholden to the same corporate interests and no matter who is in power the same stupid, frustrating shit occurs.

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  • http://twitter.com/D351 D351

    Ex-fucking-zactly.

  • http://twitter.com/D351 D351

    Ex-fucking-zactly.

  • GoodDoktorBad

    It rarely even matters who you vote for, it hasn’t for a long time. Corporate and private big money are in control.

    “people finally coming to their senses and abandoning all the nonsense ideas about the completely bullshit concept of race.” That was the only glimmer of hope I ever had regarding the election of Obama.

    • Hadrian999

      it’s a good thing, as long as the illusion of democracy persists there can be no change.
      at least according to Che, and I am inclined to agree with him on that point.

      • GoodDoktorBad

        I assume your speaking of Che Guevara…..a fascinating man with deep conviction worthy of respect.

        Unfortunatly, some of his actions, however passionate and well meaning they were, leave me with a sour taste in my mouth. I suppose this is true of many revolutionaries and is by default the nature of the beast.

        Upheaval is generally unpleasant and possibly ammoral at times, but core attitudes like his move this world to evolve.

        • Hadrian999

          yes i was paraphrasing something he wrote in “Guerrilla”
          it’s a short book everyone should read

  • Anonymous

    It rarely even matters who you vote for, it hasn’t for a long time. Corporate and private big money are in control.

    “people finally coming to their senses and abandoning all the nonsense ideas about the completely bullshit concept of race.” That was the only glimmer of hope I ever had regarding the election of Obama.

  • Hadrian999

    it’s a good thing, as long as the illusion of democracy persists there can be no change.
    at least according to Che, and I am inclined to agree with him on that point.

  • Haystack

    Who says you have to vote for a corporate candidate? There are Greens, Socialists, write-in’s, etc..They don’t win, but the votes they earn are a tally of people who are disillusioned with the two-party system and will turn out to the polls for something different. If you don’t vote, nobody in politics has any reason to care what you think.

    If people like Obama are disappointing, it’s not just because they’re corporate candidates. It’s also because their supporters don’t stay politically active after they’re elected. To actually push through reforms, you have to be on them constantly, writing to congress, demonstrating, etc.., That’s what creates the political capital to get things done. If all you did was vote, then become completely disaffected with the political system after 18 months, then all you accomplished was to demonstrate to the establishment how fickle and easily dazzled the public really is.

  • Haystack

    Who says you have to vote for a corporate candidate? There are Greens, Socialists, write-in’s, etc..They don’t win, but the votes they earn are a tally of people who are disillusioned with the two-party system and will turn out to the polls for something different. If you don’t vote, nobody in politics has any reason to care what you think.

    If people like Obama are disappointing, it’s not just because they’re corporate candidates. It’s also because their supporters don’t stay politically active after they’re elected. To actually push through reforms, you have to be on them constantly, writing to congress, demonstrating, etc.., That’s what creates the political capital to get things done. If all you did was vote, then become completely disaffected with the political system after 18 months, then all you accomplished was to demonstrate to the establishment how fickle and easily dazzled the public really is.

    • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

      nailed it one stroke dude.

    • E.B. Wolf

      Active citizens doesn’t provide the political capitol to get things done. Campaign and lobbying cash is the only thing that does. One dollar, one vote.

      • Butter Knife

        You’re right, but only because dollars happen and action doesn’t. On the rare occasions when people actually follow through on their demands and take the requisite action, their will gets done… but the minute they stop, money takes the day.

        When we give up, the corporations win… that’s their whole game, their big plan, their one victory condition: make the people just give up.

    • radiac

      Agreed. This is your chance to speak up for more third party options.
      By not voting, your protest will be be taken for complacency.

    • herp derp

      I’m with you, but that sounds time consuming. Maybe democracy is overrated.

    • dumbsaint

      I was wondering about this. Does America have something along the lines of preference sharing? For example in Australia a vote for The Greens tends to equate to a vote for Labour, so there’s no worry of a ‘wasted vote’ yet you can still give your entire support to a party that has at least a couple of principles.I guess it’s a moot point when talking about someone who isn’t going to vote outright, but surely there is someone out there that they agree with politically. This current election in Australia the Greens were the big winners – not towards forming a government but in terms of the biggest swing of votes went to them – this sends a message to the 2 vapid centrist parties that environmentalism and equality are increasingly important to Aussie voters, ignore that at your peril!

      • Liam_McGonagle

        Unfortunately, no, we don’t have anything remotely resembling a preference sharing system. It’s a first-past-the-post type of thing. Winner take all.

        But I often wonder about the point of electoral ‘protest’ actions. If I understand you correctly, the Australian brand of preference sharing allows a voter to cast a protest ballot with a bit more confidence because even if the selected candidate fails to gain a majority in his/her district, that vote instead be counted on behalf of the next most similar party.

        However, at the end of the day one of the two major parties is still going to head government. Way I see it, it breaks down like this:

        1. Protest votes results in hung parliament and a weak coalition government. It’s next to impossible to enforce party discipline and each MP is out for himself. Meaning that Big Corp Tool$ essentially get to buy whatever legislation they please. Nothing gets done. The two major parties know this, and far from receiving the protest vote message, they drift even further from an idealistic pursuit of the public good and even deeper into a whorish cycle of campaign fundraising binges.

        OR

        2. People recognize the ‘policy direction’ represented by each major party, vote consistently and actively network throughout the off-election period to subvert the agenda of the most suceptible party. With coordinated effort at the local level and adherence to a core set of principles, the course of events just might be corrected in some years.

        I admit that second scenario takes more strategy, time and thought than the average American currently seems willing to commit. But when the ghastly results of the current protest vote (or non-vote) action in the U.S. becomes apparent, my hope is that they’re gonna realise that democracy requires participation. Even if there are occassional severe disappointments in the short term.

        • dumbsaint

          Generally what happens is the 3rd party candidates organize preference deals with major parties so you know what you’re getting. Greens, Democrats goes to the Labour Party,Please God think of the Children party votes go to the Liberals etc.

          I’m kind of excited by having a coalition govt since it consists of a Greens member, and a former Green Independent. Already the two of them have called for a conscience vote on gay marriage, one of them wants to introduce protection for whistle blowers – in general a lot more progressive stuff is being introduced than if it was just in control of the Labor party (our left wing [but really centrist] party.). So it was the best possible outcome for me. If nothing more than a big FU to the major parties, it was awesome to watch them squirm for a coalition as neither party had enough support amongst Australian to form a Government outright. One can only hope it scared some sense into them.

          It seems a lot of countries have growing dissatisfaction with the 2 party way of doing things. We’ve had hung parliaments in the UK, Canada and here in Aust. The shift in votes in the States to me also speaks more about dissatisfaction with both sides of the fence rather than some overwhelming support one way or the other. No party really has the upper hand. Hopefully with all this frustration someone innovates and comes up with something new.

          • Liam_McGonagle

            Well I hope you’re right and that it works out that way.

            From what little I’ve read about the situation, Gillard seems a little bit like a faux leftist doing stealth work for big mining interests. I got the impression that she got where she did by stabbing Rudd in the back and courting more ‘business friendly policies’. My first thought is that she’s like a female Aussie Bill Clinton, and may preside over a big corporate handout.

            But like I say, I’m not thoroughly versed in the situation Down Under. I only have a couple sources on the situation, good eggs though they may be.

          • dumbsaint

            Well in a sense. It was more about flip-flopping on the issue of a mining tax that was unpopular with voters (who got fed the lie that somehow mining companies were going to pack up and leave as a result.). The plummeting polls made them panic and they drew out the long knives. So in short they acted like a bunch of (gutless) politicians. It cost them the election though. (in that they didn’t win, even if they managed to form a coalition.).

            So I’ve no love for labor and didn’t appreciate seeing the guy people voted for replaced. On the other side of the fence you have a wingnut climate change denier. So when I say best possible outcome, it was the best of a bad situation.

          • Liam_McGonagle

            Thanks for filling in the details there for a little more perspective.

            I especially liked the bit about the mining companies pretending they would pick up and move off. What the hell did they expect people to believe? That they were going to pack the Olympic Dam veins in their carryon luggage for the flight to Beijing? There’s no end to the stupidity/brass of the business sector!

            I’d have liked your last posts if I could–I think I must have fudged up my browser settings somehow, because none of the ‘likes’ I’ve hit for the past week or so have shown up.

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/LZNJUGQUKQ5GBYR3FZ3D4FJF7I Donald

      In Indiana, “Third Party” means “Libertarian.” And that’s leftist for the state. I’d hate to think if the KKK became legal here. And now write-ins have to be “official,” so you can’t just write in “Mickey Mouse” or whomever you care to scribble in.

      And I work 10 hours/day, 6 days/week. Trust me, if I had the time/money to donate, I’d give it.

  • John Brown

    “If voting changed anything they would make it illegal.” – Emma Goldman

  • John Brown

    “If voting changed anything they would make it illegal.” – Emma Goldman

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    nailed it one stroke dude.

  • gemmarama

    i get the argument for but my personal attitude towards voting has always been “i’m not even going to dignify that with a response…”

  • gemmarama

    i get the argument for but my personal attitude towards voting has always been “i’m not even going to dignify that with a response…”

  • E.B. Wolf

    Active citizens doesn’t provide the political capitol to get things done. Campaign and lobbying cash is the only thing that does. One dollar, one vote.

  • radiac

    Agreed. This is your chance to speak up for more third party options.
    By not voting, your protest will be be taken for complacency.

  • Butter Knife

    You’re right, but only because dollars happen and action doesn’t. On the rare occasions when people actually follow through on their demands and take the requisite action, their will gets done… but the minute they stop, money takes the day.

    When we give up, the corporations win… that’s their whole game, their big plan, their one victory condition: make the people just give up.

  • Butter Knife

    Isn’t it great when you can make a philosophical case for laziness and apathy? It’s always nice to have one’s lesser urges vindicated by a high-minded argument… of course, it’s also sophistic, pseudo-intellectual, whiny bullshit.

    Enjoy wallowing in self-pity willed disenfranchisement, it’s certainly an easier path to take than actually putting effort toward making the world a better place. Me, I’ll stick with banging my head against the wall of futility… at least I can manage to sleep at night when I black out from the trauma.

  • Butter Knife

    Isn’t it great when you can make a philosophical case for laziness and apathy? It’s always nice to have one’s lesser urges vindicated by a high-minded argument… of course, it’s also sophistic, pseudo-intellectual, whiny bullshit.

    Enjoy wallowing in self-pity willed disenfranchisement, it’s certainly an easier path to take than actually putting effort toward making the world a better place. Me, I’ll stick with banging my head against the wall of futility… at least I can manage to sleep at night when I black out from the trauma.

    • http://thefirstchurchofmutterhals.blogspot.com/ mutterhals

      I sleep great at night, thanks for your concern.

    • John Brown

      Not voting doesn’t imply laziness or apathy. It explicitly references not getting up in a system of deception that presents itself as democracy but is anything but with fixed choices of the SAME faulty product. Each candidate is just a different brand. INSTEAD of voting, people should organize in their communities, in their unions, in their workplaces, in the streets, etc. That’s where change has always occurred not at the polls. Don’t let yourself be misled. It may not be immediate, but once the dissent mounts, there will be a reckoning…

  • http://thefirstchurchofmutterhals.blogspot.com/ mutterhals

    I sleep great at night, thanks for your concern.

  • Emma Lowmax

    so you don’t vote, what do you do? do you dedicate your life to changing the system? do you leave the country/seek political asylum making a statement about the state of our government? I don’t see much of that, but I do see lots of people using the “this is why I don’t vote” line as a justification for their inaction.

    you don’t want to vote for the candidates in the “two party system”? do you use your vote for one of the other parties, you know the ones who have the publics interest in mind? nope. all you “I don’t vote” people are the ones that are the most vocal about the state of things too. it funny.
    making your stance “I don’t play ’cause you don’t play fair” is standing for nothing.

    and if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.

  • Emma Lowmax

    so you don’t vote, what do you do? do you dedicate your life to changing the system? do you leave the country/seek political asylum making a statement about the state of our government? I don’t see much of that, but I do see lots of people using the “this is why I don’t vote” line as a justification for their inaction.

    you don’t want to vote for the candidates in the “two party system”? do you use your vote for one of the other parties, you know the ones who have the publics interest in mind? nope. all you “I don’t vote” people are the ones that are the most vocal about the state of things too. it funny.
    making your stance “I don’t play ’cause you don’t play fair” is standing for nothing.

    and if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.

  • herp derp

    I’m with you, but that sounds time consuming. Maybe democracy is overrated.

  • Anonymous

    I assume your speaking of Che Guevara…..a fascinating man with deep conviction worthy of respect.

    Unfortunatly, some of his actions, however passionate and well meaning they were, leave me with a sour taste in my mouth. I suppose this is true of many revolutionaries and is by default the nature of the beast.

    Upheaval is generally unpleasant and possibly ammoral at times, but core attitudes like his move this world to evolve.

  • John Brown

    Not voting doesn’t imply laziness or apathy. It explicitly references not getting up in a system of deception that presents itself as democracy but is anything but with fixed choices of the SAME faulty product. Each candidate is just a different brand. INSTEAD of voting, people should organize in their communities, in their unions, in their workplaces, in the streets, etc. That’s where change has always occurred not at the polls. Don’t let yourself be misled. It may not be immediate, but once the dissent mounts, there will be a reckoning…

  • Hypnos1

    Good little worm. The corporations thank you not only for not voting, but using your writing talents to spread the idea that nothing can be done.

  • Hypnos1

    Good little worm. The corporations thank you not only for not voting, but using your writing talents to spread the idea that nothing can be done.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    “Why I Didn’t Vote”

    there are many rationalizations…but at the end of the day the deciding factor was abject horror at being disconnected from the computer for over half an hour…or possibly even longer…all the while exposed to harsh sunlight and unfamiliar oxygen levels

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    “Why I Didn’t Vote”

    there are many rationalizations…but at the end of the day the deciding factor was abject horror at being disconnected from the computer for over half an hour…or possibly even longer…all the while exposed to harsh sunlight and unfamiliar oxygen levels

    • herp derp

      those would have been my rationalizations if i was able to vote, seriously. but many people aren’t able to due to felonies or other reasons no doubt but whatever. those people are fucking civic degenerates.

      • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

        actually…in my case, I did vote…mixing a few local dems I know and like (Kate Segal held her district seat in out state house…and deserved to keep it) and some greens and independents…sadly, the only local repub I’ve ever voted for was booted off the ticket and replaced by an extreme religious weenie funded by right wing corporate cash.

        end point…the Dems can’t count on any vote from me that they don’t personally earn thru action. Segal proves herself every year…the person gets my vote…not the party. But in any race I can afford it or have no favorites, my vote goes third party. Is it wasted? No…symbolically theres someone looking at those numbers and wishing those votes had been for them…and I’ll keep on shouting that theres only one way to get that vote…earn it.

  • herp derp

    cause i’m a felon

    my preferences don’t count

  • herp derp

    cause i’m a felon

    my preferences don’t count

  • herp derp

    those would have been my rationalizations if i was able to vote, seriously. but many people aren’t able to due to felonies or other reasons no doubt but whatever. those people are fucking civic degenerates.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    actually…in my case, I did vote…mixing a few local dems I know and like (Kate Segal held her district seat in out state house…and deserved to keep it) and some greens and independents…sadly, the only local repub I’ve ever voted for was booted off the ticket and replaced by an extreme religious weenie funded by right wing corporate cash.

    end point…the Dems can’t count on any vote from me that they don’t personally earn thru action. Segal proves herself every year…the person gets my vote…not the party. But in any race I can afford it or have no favorites, my vote goes third party. Is it wasted? No…symbolically theres someone looking at those numbers and wishing those votes had been for them…and I’ll keep on shouting that theres only one way to get that vote…earn it.

  • Grek

    I can sympathize with the way the writer feels about voting (or not voting in this case). I think he pretty much accurately broke down the state of politics in the US today and I can’t argue with his observations, but I don’t necessarily agree with not voting at all. In my opinion, a vote for a fictional cartoon character is better than not voting at all. One may think by not voting they are making a statement, but what statement is that? By not voting, it only reinforces the idea that a huge chunk of our population is apathetic and does not care about politics. Do you really want your statement of “not voting” to be seen that way? If one does not support either of the two main candidates and cannot find a third party option that satisifes them, a write in vote for a made up character, or even a real person who you think would make a good president makes more of a statement than not voting. Forgive me for not being able to remember specific details, but I remember reading about an election in South America where a majority of the local people voted for an animal at the local zoo (I think, maybe it was a mascot of some kind they voted for). That animal ended up winning and I think the election had to be redone. Anyway, those people successfully used their vote as a form of protest because they did not approve of the candidates running. If anyone has any specifics on this please post. I could not find the info online so I will have to dig through the book I read it in. I will continue to vote in elections, and if I can not find a candidate to support I will write in my own candidate as I did at the last presidential elections when I voted for Britney Spears. That was my way of saying what a joke I think the whole election process is.

  • Grek

    I can sympathize with the way the writer feels about voting (or not voting in this case). I think he pretty much accurately broke down the state of politics in the US today and I can’t argue with his observations, but I don’t necessarily agree with not voting at all. In my opinion, a vote for a fictional cartoon character is better than not voting at all. One may think by not voting they are making a statement, but what statement is that? By not voting, it only reinforces the idea that a huge chunk of our population is apathetic and does not care about politics. Do you really want your statement of “not voting” to be seen that way? If one does not support either of the two main candidates and cannot find a third party option that satisifes them, a write in vote for a made up character, or even a real person who you think would make a good president makes more of a statement than not voting. Forgive me for not being able to remember specific details, but I remember reading about an election in South America where a majority of the local people voted for an animal at the local zoo (I think, maybe it was a mascot of some kind they voted for). That animal ended up winning and I think the election had to be redone. Anyway, those people successfully used their vote as a form of protest because they did not approve of the candidates running. If anyone has any specifics on this please post. I could not find the info online so I will have to dig through the book I read it in. I will continue to vote in elections, and if I can not find a candidate to support I will write in my own candidate as I did at the last presidential elections when I voted for Britney Spears. That was my way of saying what a joke I think the whole election process is.

  • Hadrian999

    yes i was paraphrasing something he wrote in “Guerrilla”
    it’s a short book everyone should read

  • Anonymous

    I was wondering about this. Does America have something along the lines of preference sharing? For example in Australia a vote for The Greens tends to equate to a vote for Labour, so there’s no worry of a ‘wasted vote’ yet you can still give your entire support to a party that has at least a couple of principles.I guess it’s a moot point when talking about someone who isn’t going to vote outright, but surely there is someone out there that they agree with politically. This current election in Australia the Greens were the big winners – not towards forming a government but in terms of the biggest swing of votes went to them – this sends a message to the 2 vapid centrist parties that environmentalism and equality are increasingly important to Aussie voters, ignore that at your peril!

  • Liam_McGonagle

    Unfortunately, no, we don’t have anything remotely resembling a preference sharing system. It’s a first-past-the-post type of thing. Winner take all.

    But I often wonder about the point of electoral ‘protest’ actions. If I understand you correctly, the Australian brand of preference sharing allows a voter to cast a protest ballot with a bit more confidence because even if the selected candidate fails to gain a majority in his/her district, that vote instead be counted on behalf of the next most similar party.

    However, at the end of the day one of the two major parties is still going to head government. Way I see it, it breaks down like this:

    1. Protest votes results in hung parliament and a weak coalition government. It’s next to impossible to enforce party discipline and each MP is out for himself. Meaning that Big Corp Tool$ essentially get to buy whatever legislation they please. Nothing gets done. The two major parties know this, and far from receiving the protest vote message, they drift even further from an idealistic pursuit of the public good and even deeper into a whorish cycle of campaign fundraising binges.

    OR

    2. People recognize the ‘policy direction’ represented by each major party, vote consistently and actively network throughout the off-election period to subvert the agenda of the most suceptible party. With coordinated effort at the local level and adherence to a core set of principles, the course of events just might be corrected in some years.

    I admit that second scenario takes more strategy, time and thought than the average American currently seems willing to commit. But when the ghastly results of the current protest vote (or non-vote) action in the U.S. becomes apparent, my hope is that they’re gonna realise that democracy requires participation. Even if there are occassional severe disappointments in the short term.

  • Anonymous

    Generally what happens is the 3rd party candidates organize preference deals with major parties so you know what you’re getting. Greens, Democrats goes to the Labour Party,Please God think of the Children party votes go to the Liberals etc.

    I’m kind of excited by having a coalition govt since it consists of a Greens member, and a former Green Independent. Already the two of them have called for a conscience vote on gay marriage, one of them wants to introduce protection for whistle blowers – in general a lot more progressive stuff is being introduced than if it was just in control of the Labor party (our left wing [but really centrist] party.). So it was the best possible outcome for me. If nothing more than a big FU to the major parties, it was awesome to watch them squirm for a coalition as neither party had enough support amongst Australian to form a Government outright. One can only hope it scared some sense into them.

    It seems a lot of countries have growing dissatisfaction with the 2 party way of doing things. We’ve had hung parliaments in the UK, Canada and here in Aust. The shift in votes in the States to me also speaks more about dissatisfaction with both sides of the fence rather than some overwhelming support one way or the other. No party really has the upper hand. Hopefully with all this frustration someone innovates and comes up with something new.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    Well I hope you’re right and that it works out that way.

    From what little I’ve read about the situation, Gillard seems a little bit like a faux leftist doing stealth work for big mining interests. I got the impression that she got where she did by stabbing Rudd in the back and courting more ‘business friendly policies’. My first thought is that she’s like a female Aussie Bill Clinton, and may preside over a big corporate handout.

    But like I say, I’m not thoroughly versed in the situation Down Under. I only have a couple sources on the situation, good eggs though they may be.

  • Anonymous

    Well in a sense. It was more about flip-flopping on the issue of a mining tax that was unpopular with voters (who got fed the lie that somehow mining companies were going to pack up and leave as a result.). The plummeting polls made them panic and they drew out the long knives. So in short they acted like a bunch of (gutless) politicians. It cost them the election though. (in that they didn’t win, even if they managed to form a coalition.).

    So I’ve no love for labor and didn’t appreciate seeing the guy people voted for replaced. On the other side of the fence you have a wingnut climate change denier. So when I say best possible outcome, it was the best of a bad situation.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for filling in the details there for a little more perspective.

    I especially liked the bit about the mining companies pretending they would pick up and move off. What the hell did they expect people to believe? That they were going to pack the Olympic Dam veins in their carryon luggage for the flight to Beijing? There’s no end to the stupidity/brass of the business sector!

    I’d have liked your last posts if I could–I think I must have fudged up my browser settings somehow, because none of the ‘likes’ I’ve hit for the past week or so have shown up.

  • justagirl

    yer doing it all wrong. i learned that this last vote. (don’t even ask).

  • justagirl

    yer doing it all wrong. i learned that this last vote. (don’t even ask).

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/LZNJUGQUKQ5GBYR3FZ3D4FJF7I Donald

    In Indiana, “Third Party” means “Libertarian.” And that’s leftist for the state. I’d hate to think if the KKK became legal here. And now write-ins have to be “official,” so you can’t just write in “Mickey Mouse” or whomever you care to scribble in.

    And I work 10 hours/day, 6 days/week. Trust me, if I had the time/money to donate, I’d give it.