As a rule, I’m a pretty non-political kind of person. What’s more, I don’t follow the news and now that I no longer have to worry about my Civics teacher quizzing me, I couldn’t name most of the big shots in our government today. But since I have a blog, and blogs are for spewing out personal opinions, popular or not, I have a few highly cynical thoughts regarding Election Day and the political process….
First of all, I do vote. Walked a mile in the 45 degree chill to the polling place this morning. Had to show ID for the first time ever and nearly didn’t get to exercise my franchise, but that’s neither here nor there. That being said though, it is not something I take seriously. I personally think people take voting WAY too seriously, despite the realities of the situation. I know people who don’t vote, and despite what some may think of that, they are good people. I would never look down on someone who chose not to vote. Rights are freedoms in this country, and let’s not ever forget that. Just as you have the inalienable right to vote, and vote for whoever you choose, you also have the inalienable right to say, “fuck it!” and not bother.
I generally vote for or against someone based on some real or imagined notion I have about that person. My overall views on the “important issues” would probably put me slightly right of center on the political spectrum, yet I seem to vote for many more Democratic candidates than Republicans. Kinda odd considering the candidates I’m most likely to have a strong compulsion to vote against are usuallyDemocrats (Dubya being a notorious exception to that rule).
Such was the case this year in the one race I made damn sure to make the jaunt to the polls for….
In 1944 Charles Melvin Price was elected as our representative in the House. When Price died in 1988, he was replaced by Jerry Costello. Costello decided this would be his final term in Congress, so for just the second time since WORLD WAR TWO, this area is seeking out a new person to send to the House of Representatives. Fighting it out for Costello’s seat are Democrat Bill Enyart and Republican Jason Plummer. I have no idea what is going on in the rest of the media, but about the only interaction politicians can have with me is via the mail, and about every third day for the past two months, I’ve received a piece of junk mail from Enyart attacking Plummer. And I mean attacking Plummer himself… painting him to be a young, inexperienced, kid born with a silver spoon in his mouth… and every ad was accompanied by what looks like a geeky picture of Plummer pulled from his high school yearbook.
Hey, I’ll be the first to admit I can be a mean-spirited asshole from time to time, but this campaign run by Enyart’s people was extremely low and uncalled for, even for a tightly contested political race. And Plummer’s response…. I got one lousy ad from him during the entire pre-election period, and it was so benign I can’t even remember what it was about. Naturally, I made damn sure to vote for Jason Plummer. I don’t care if he does raise my taxes and passes along the spoils to his rich cronies…. nobody deserves to be treated the way he was. I’m all for punching the lights out of the kid who’s a constant nuisance, but at least in the war of the mailbox, Enyart was doing all the chain yanking.
Now for a thought on our views.
No matter how much you may think your beliefs are the correct ones, no matter how many “facts” and “studies” you might cite that back up your beliefs, no matter how many people agree with you, no matter how loud you scream out your beliefs… you do not hold a monopoly on the truth. This is true for any issue, any stance.
We all hold our beliefs based on who we are and what we have experienced in our lives. We also tend to hold beliefs that will benefit us while maybe not necessarily being good for someone else… and we justify feeling that way by any means possible, no matter how much the other guy pleads their case. The fact is, the reason there is two sides (or sometimes more) to every issue is because as a people we all take different treks through life. The poor see things differently than the rich. Whites see things differently than blacks. Men see things differently than women (And guys, unless you possess a uterus, please don’t say you “understand” womens’ issues. We have one guy on my message board that constantly bleeds through his “vagina”, and it’s very embarrassing to see). And of course, there are differences even among groups of like people…. but one thing still holds true…. no one person is any more correct than the other on any issue! I will pimpsmack the next person who goes into some political argument and uses the world “clearly”…
Wanna know who I voted for to be President of the United States this morning? That little dude in the top hat leading off my post. Yes, Buster Possum got one vote for POTUS. Why would I do that, other than the fact that I don’t live in a swing state and my Presidental vote was useless anyway?
The fucking Electoral College. It sucks ass, and I will not cast another serious vote for President until it goes away like it should have over a century ago.
My main beef with this antiquated system is the way it makes one person’s vote mean so much for than anothers. Prime example: In 2008, Barack Obama easily carried the state of Illinois, as expected since it’s his “home” state, and the good people of Chicago (both alive and dead) pretty much get their say over us downstaters. Just six miles west of where I live you enter the state of Missouri, and it wound up being one of the closest states in the entire election. So my Presidential vote that year was a fart in a hurricane, while just a hop skip and a swim away from me, everyone’s Presidential vote was much, much more meaningful in deciding who won. Even recognizing the insignificance of one vote in any election, it still brings up the issue of how in the hell that’s fair.
Before I wrap up this rambling post that demonstrates exactly why I should never get involved in politics, I’d like to conclude with a most excellent quote I saw on another blog I have raved about in the past. This comes from The Vampire Maman….
If we took all of the billions of dollars spent on election propaganda and spent it on schools, science research, National Parks, road repairs…wow just imagine
I’m Evil Squirrel, and I approve this message.