Monday, November 3, 2014

I'm a Voter...Are You?

I was not raised to be the least bit interested in politics. 

It wasn't a gender thing; I have no memory of my parents ever voting in any election, and there were never any heated arguments over the trials and tribulations of government.  To my eyes, my parents were into other things.  It may be that my dad's military career was predicated on his silence when it came to his political views; one unedited comment in front of a higher-ranking officer would have been ill-advised.  One bus ride home from school in the 70s, a relatively benign shouting match between those who were for Carter and those who were for Ford briefly ignited my interest in political campaigns, but it subsided soon after the election. 

Until I hit the age of 18, and went off to college. 

College is all about broadening your horizons, at least intellectually.  My friend Cathy was appalled at the idea that I might not vote in the upcoming election.  Her family was extremely political.  Intelligent people exercised their government mandated right to express their opinions by choosing suitable candidates, and that was that.  Bowing to her relentless disapproval on the topic, I registered to vote, and we went together to make our selections. I've been a registered voter ever since.

My husband is  a Legacy Democrat--his daddy was a Democrat, his daddy's daddy was a Democrat, and so on, back before electricity.  His voting is very simple, and takes about five minutes, at least when the state of Texas is not trying to keep him from voting by "mysteriously" forgetting his address(it's happened more than once).  But I am not affiliated with any particular party. I am very much an independent.  I reserve the right to make a decision based on merit, not on whether you're a party member.   With me, not so much. I know that there are idiots on both sides of the fence.  And contrary to what others may thing, my husband does not make my political decisions for me.  I read up, and I understand the issues, and I make up my own mind.  And I vote.

Right now there are a lot of shenanigans going on in politics; particularly in Texas. This isn't really a new thing; ever since we've been a country, there's been election shenanigans.   People are getting elected who aren't willing to work with others, for example.  Or people getting elected based on lies told by political action committees rather than what the candidate actually stands for, like those Swift Boat idiots.  Dark money, or money with no accountability attached to it, is being thrown at candidates from businesses like Cash America or individuals such as the Koch brothers.  It is important to note that these businesses only care about what they want--they aren't interested in the big picture, but in their goal.  If you read carefully, for instance, all these arguments for smaller government are very business friendly--if you want to avoid having your business regulated, you elect people who will help you make that happen.  It's also a sad fact that these political groups count on the general ignorance or apathy of the populace to sway votes their way.   It's disheartening, but the shenanigans keep happening because they work. So I vote, and do my part to make sure that candidates who live in the pockets of these shady, corrupt organizations do not win elections.

I understand the use of propaganda, and it sickens me that such tripe is even allowed.  However, I'm also realistic and cynical enough to understand that extremists are getting into office through the use of these tactics. That concerns me.  Extremists aren't interested in cooperation in order to form a more efficient government.  They are only interested in their one issue--abortion, lower taxes, etc.--and they could care less about anything else.  It's dangerous to allow these sorts of individuals to hold office. So I vote, and do my part to make sure these extremists do not win elections. 

Tomorrow is an election day and I'd like to announce this, in case anyone doesn't know:  I am a woman. I actually vote.   I know it's not much--what can my little self do to reverse the overwhelming tide of idiocy that has become the political process?  I vote anyway.  Because in the United States, everyone's voice counts. 

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes I feel like I don't have enough information to vote, and sometimes I am afraid that if I get enough info I will be terrified and helpless. It is hard to keep in mind that each single vote does count.


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