The yahoo politicos of the nation are getting ready for their annual party: cloaked in flags and patriotism, they call upon everyone to do their duty and become involved in a process that is at best fallible, and at worst mired in dirty tricks and corruption.
This is a good one. In Virginia, someone has been passing out fliers informing democrats to vote the day after the election, to alleviate long lines due to the higher than expected turnout sure to happen on election day. Dirty trick. Yep! Though, if you read most of the dimwitted responses from the people responding, a few note that anyone willing to fall for such a hackneyed ruse, might very well not be the people we want having the power to select the next leaders of the nation.
One of my younger colleagues is going through her first election in Illinois (she had to be taught how to get multiple IDs, and how to register under false names and at multiple precincts ….;-). She decided to vote early, and did so with her husband. She had been following the national election closely, and knew that voting for whomever is running against Dick Durbin in the senate is a waste of time (I don’t even actually know for sure )if the Republican Party is actually running anyone …. I have not seen an actual name anywhere). She was upset that she had not taken the time to research the candidates for other offices, such as the 41,982 people up for election as judges. I commented, laughing, but dead serious, that mom used to vote by picking the Polish and Irish names. She noted that her husband had told her not to worry, because no one actually knows anything about those people, and that he was not actually voting for any of them. Heck, he ought to know, he is working on his graduate degree in political science!
The fact is, I could care less about who wins this election (so long as it is not Hillary Clinton or W … I can eliminate those two immediately). I have a devoted Obama supporter howling over the selection of Sarah “what has she done” Palin ….. saying that we have a moral obligation to keep someone so inexperienced away from the White House. I don’t think I need to remind folks that if it weren’t for Sarah Palin, Mr. Obama would be the least experienced person involved in this race.
The McCain folks talk about the stress on values and personal freedom. However, after this Republican administration, it is hard to see Republicans as standing for anything remotely close to that.
Maybe I am a a bad role model. I encourage my students to vote, but I am sick of the game. When I moved up to the North Side, I gave up my right to vote. I gave it up to avoid jury duty, not because I don’t want to serve, but because my students don’t deserve to have their education put on hold while I am away for something that someone else could do, and I would freely do over my summer break. I am constantly told that they draw jurors from drivers licenses as well, but I was called three times for jury duty within five years before giving up the right to vote, and have never been called since.
That’s the ostensible reason. However after 16 years of Clinbush, I have been turned off of politics and government. I am not convinced that I see a politician out there worthy of my support. I look at shenanigans and tomfoolery, and have decided that I no longer wish to participate in the game.
Of course, as my grandmother would point out: people like you are what’s wrong with this country; people of good conscience who do nothing. That if more people were like this, poor leaders get elected. Others would say “if you don’t like this country, go to Russia (or China or North Korea, or Venezuela …..)
I don’t think I am doing nothing. I am educating students to be problem solvers and to not settle for making decisions, unless they can be sensibly justified. Hopefully, they will not be as jaded with me. I also do love this country. I cannot say I am a patriot, because I was never asked to defend this nation, but I am deeply gratified for the opportunities that I have received. My everyday work with young people, hopefully, makes this nation just a smidge better.
I would also argue that bad leaders are already being elected, and have been for some time. Maybe our country needs a really bad leader …… someone to take us all somewhere really dark ….. before the nation realizes that it needs to snap out of its collective stupor, and stop treating elections like they were voting for Miss America or for the next to be eliminated on “Singing With the Stars” or some such.
Maybe then the electoral process will live up to what it should be in this nation.