This is it. The big day. Woo fucking hoo.
Tomorrow is Election Day. Vote early and often!
Sorry. Election season tends to bring out the worst in me, which is why I’ve refrained from commenting on it. But it’s hard to get excited about doing your civic duty when all you want to do is take a flame thrower to the hallowed halls of Congress.
What I dislike the most is the political ads. Last year, it seemed the ads were particularly vicious. As my TV watching has declined significantly as I’ve gotten older, I haven’t seen as many this time around, so I can’t tell you if the trend continues.
In fact, I’ve avoided news coverage on pretty much everything political, state, local, and federal. The only certainty I can give you is I will be voting yes on Referendum 74 (in support of same-sex marriage).
Oh sure, some of it’s seeped through. I do peruse the headlines of the daily paper and NPR, but I don’t often read the full story. But I had to look up the “binders full of women” debacle. I had to go back and read the story on how a woman’s body can supposedly prevent a rapist from getting her pregnant. I was disgusted by the smile on Mitt Romney’s face after the attack on the US Embassy.
None of that was enough to make me regret sticking my head in the sand for a moment.
See, politicians these days remind me of kindergarteners having an argument:
“He started it!”
“No, he did!”
Sigh. Wash, rinse, repeat.
They don’t get anything done anymore. Not that they did before, what with wasting their time naming post offices and some such shit, but it’s all disintegrated into a sludge of name-calling and tax-dollar spending.
The sad thing is, I can’t think of a viable solution to this problem. They teach you in school that your vote counts, and I will agree with that. To a point. In many small elections, yes, every single vote counts. In fact, last year, in a tiny town north of Seattle, the vote for mayor came down to only a few votes.
I had a prof in college who, at one point, turned a lecture into a diatribe against the government and how he didn’t vote and we shouldn’t either. At the time, I was still a starry-eyed idealist and found his conspiracy theorist rantings offensive. I still do-his personal opinions shouldn’t have spilled over into the lecture hall. I ended up withdrawing from his class after only a week, as did several other students.
Sometimes these days, I think he may have a point. Why should I vote?
The answer is simple. Fear.
Fear that by allowing my indifference to conquer me, I won’t be doing my part to keep the country from being taken over by people who won’t listen to a damn word I say. Right now, we’re lucky here, in Washington State, to have two senators who are known throughout Congress as workhorses and push through the little things that make it worthwhile.
Fear that by choosing to destroy my mail-in ballot rather than fill it out and return it, I’ll be setting a bad example for my nephew and all the other tiny children around me who are influenced by my actions.
Fear that by not speaking up, I’ll never be heard.
Keeping your mouth shut is the scariest thing of all. So whatever your political persuasion, don’t let the chance to tear the tape from your lips and scream out your demands pass you by.