Election Day

I hate election day. I begin to enjoy life again slowly as each day passes beyond it. I’ve already gotten into three arguments over things that neither I nor any of the three other people really understood. I told one of them that Obama came from obscurity, and she said that Palin was more obscure, and I said she wasn’t, and then she somehow got me to defend the notion of Palin as President some day, when all along I don’t really think she’s that capable. How did she get me to that place? I’m awful at real-time arguments.

I usually try to keep myself out of the American political arena, instead standing on the outside where I can clearly see how everyone inside all act exactly the same way or, at the very least, have the same, messed-up hearts despite the fact that their issues are opposite.

So many people think that the future of the world hangs in the balance with this election, but that’s just not true. It’s the same as all the other elections previous. The left says that if the right stays in power, the world will be thrown into the dark ages. The right says if the left gets in power, they’ll take over everything we own. Obama is a Chicago politician (a city known for corruption) who has rose from obscurity over the last 4 years (he was first elected to the Illinois Senate in 1996, served 8 years, and then has been a US senator for 4), and he’s gotten us chanting things like, “Yes We Can!” and “It’s Time for Change!” without any of us really knowing what he means. Sure, we know what WE mean, and that’s what those who wrote those slogans were counting on: that we’d all fill in our own blanks. McCain is a Republican who has stood in the Moderate range at best for years now, and now that he’s the GOP’s candidate, he’s suddenly as right-wing as they come. Do we really think that Obama will make all the difference with the issues we’ve made him represent in our own minds? Do we really think that McCain really means it when he tells us he’s against abortion, let alone anything else he’s said? If you answer “yes” to any of those, I’m afraid you’re naive. The crossroads where we stand right now WILL NOT be the defining moment in our nation’s history that either brought about our demise or our success. It can be a step in either direction, but nothing that’s not reversible within 4-8 years. When Clinton took office, the right shouted “he’s undoing everything done in the last 12 years!” and then when Bush took over, the left shouted “he’s undoing everything done in the last 8 years!”

In the end, when you vote today, you’re just defending a point of view or your own comfort. Those on the left can go on about how horrible the Bush Administration has been, but the fact is there are those who think he’s done an excellent job – it all depends on the criteria you put forth. Those on the right can scream about universal health care and assisted suicide and increased governmental controls, but the fact is there are those who want those very things and will be happy if they are put into place. As much as anyone on either side wants to think, their opponents will not someday think, in mass, “Oh, gosh, guess I was wrong about this one” under any circumstances. Americans are stubborn like that.

I think we need to take a long, hard look at how important we make this stuff. Yes, it’s important and valuable in this nation to be sure to vote, but the fact is that people see various issues differently and you might lose. We have turned the act of NOT voting into an immoral action, and not because of fear of an unelected person taking over or people of which we don’t approve making decisions for us, but to keep the other guys from getting their way.

Go ahead, get mad, tell me I’m not seeing the importance of this election. Tell me that I don’t really understand what’s at stake. I’ve already heard it. Let me tell you that all of this will eventually pass, be it 4 years, 8 years, or maybe 16 to 20, and we’ll all have some other list of issues that we’re debating and thinking that the world will end if things don’t happen the way we think they should.

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