Clay Aiken’s Half-Right to Blame Voters for Antigay Law
Poor Clay Aiken isn’t in a great mood right now. He’s definitely very upset about the North Carolina lawmakers passing an insanely antigay bill in his state. But he’s also still clearly nursing a grudge about losing an election in 2014.
If you haven’t been following along at home — and why would you — Clay Aiken’s had some political ambitions for the last few years. (Yes, the American Idol guy.) He ran for state legislature in 2014, and not only did he lose by a lot (59 to 41 percent), but voter turnout that year was the lowest in 72 years.
So now Clay’s sent out a few tweets about HB2, the North Carolina bill that encourages people to discriminate and basically criminalizes peeing while trans. “Im as pissed abt #HB2 in NC as anyone. But the number of people who are indignant abt it, yet who didn’t even vote in 2014 is more sickening,” he wrote.
Now this is getting spun as “Singer Who Lost 2014 Congressional Bid Suggests His Loss Is Worse Than Sweeping New Anti-LGBT Law,” which isn’t at all what he said.
In fact, Clay’s right. Halfway, at least.
Yeah, HB2 passing is a terrible, terrible thing. And you know why it passed? Because progressive voters couldn’t be bothered to show up for midterm elections, thereby keeping the crazy snake-handling homophobes out of office. If voters had, you know, voted, then we might not have this whole mess on our hands now.
But hold on — it’s not entirely their fault for not going to the polls. There’s a reason only about 36 percent of Americans voted in that election, and it’s because we’ve all learned that you can’t trust politicians, voting, or American democracy in general.
We’ve got a dumb system that doesn’t work and that nobody likes, so if politicians (and aspiring politicians) are mad that citizens don’t want anything to do with it, well, maybe look at how countries like Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, and Australia managed to get participation rates into the 80s; then overthrow the US government and replace it with a parliamentary system and representative democracy. There, problem solved.