I thought about writing on the feelings I had from getting told I didn’t quite meet the “qualifications and experience” needed for a job that is basically like all the ones I’ve had since I was 15, but I figured talking about the upcoming election might be less annoying (if only by a smidge) and important. Especially considering I wasn’t actually super upset about not getting the job and I had decided that nothing good could come from being overly negative about it. So at the risk of being preachy and completely ignored I’d like to share my thoughts on the election and what it all means.
Let me start by saying that this is by no means going to be a long-winded rant about who I am voting for and why and why you should do so as well. As passionate as I am and as much as I believe in the things and people I do I am equally as into not shoving my thoughts and opinions onto others. Not to say I am not opinionated and won’t share or give an ear full because lord knows I can and will, but I really believe in encouraging people to investigate and develop their own stance on things, particularly politics and voting for our President. I just know that since I’ve been young voting and having that privilege is something I’ve really cherished and I want to share that with everyone, especially the younger demographic who has a tendency to be lax and unsure in this area. Turning 18 was exciting for me mostly because I got to register to vote and I just want to maybe inspire other young people to have that enthusiasm.
The political world can be so overwhelming on a good day that election years seem like every type of natural disaster is coming at voters. I hate to think what it would have been like when I was 18 and getting ready to vote if I had not already had some interest in all of it. Which I have my ninth grade Civics teacher to thank for that, he taught politics and the role of government in a way that I found really interesting and fascinating. It was the only time in my life that I had ever considered pursuing a career that was outside of writing or the arts. I saw the power these people had and how much they could do for the people the represented and I thought that would be a fantastic feeling. To be able to provide help to people in need, and those not necessarily in need of it as well, seemed like a great job. I’ve always had this end goal that before I die I want to be able to look back and know I helped people and did good while I was around and it seemed like being a politician could achieve that idea in spades. Then I took a closer look and discovered the dirty games of it all and I am no good at that stuff. I am way to emotional and really invested in the things I do believe in that I wouldn’t last. Debates would be a disaster and I’d never be good at being diplomatic on everything and just…yeah it would never really work out.
However I knew that it didn’t mean I couldn’t still pay attention and be involved. So since then I’ve always stated pretty on top of things and tried to stay as in the know as I could. By no means am I a political junkie or poly sci major who really knows the ins and outs of it all, but I like to think I know enough to stand behind statements I make. Therefore leading up to my 18 birthday I planned out how as soon as I was out of school I was not going to a gas station to buy cigarettes or lottery tickets, I was going to the court house to register to vote. My mom was a little baffled how that was what I was most excited about but she has learned to go with me and my slight weirdness. Seven months later I got my absentee ballot in the mail while I was away at college and getting to vote for the first time felt…amazing. It probably sounds like the spray can of cheese but I could feel importance radiating from my pen as I filled in my circles and cast my vote. I stared at it later and realized that it was my vote and nobody could take that way from me, and that feeling was simply just kick ass.
Four years later I’ve watched what happens after you cast your vote and the results are read and consequences unfold. I’ve grown a lot in those four years; I have a college degree, a better understanding of the world, and the exact same excitement building in me to get to do it all over again. This time I get to go an actual booth and polling place and cast my vote and I am ridiculously excited. I get in conversations and debates whenever I can with people about stuff and I love it because to have conversations like that make me feel more adult and like I am really starting to make that difference in the world. And it is just something that I hope everyone that is capable of having goes out and gets. Which is why I wanted to write this blog and encourage people to vote on November 6th.
Don’t know who to vote for? Alright that’s not uncommon and it is an easy solution. Instead of watching TV and only basing your opinions on the ads (especially those all to frequent attack ads) or what the media is pushing out, which is not all suspect to bias or false things since that it is essentially their job to inform the people and be unbiased, go directly to the source. Go to each candidates website ( President Barack Obama, http://www.barackobama.com and Governor Mitt Romney, http://www.mittromney.com) and poke around, find pages where they outline their platforms. Find the issues that are important to you and see where both stand on those issues and what they promise to do. The most important thing about voting isn’t who you vote for but that you go into that booth, or sit down with your absentee ballot and are informed. People are going to have opinions on who is the better person for the job and that’s great for them but this is your vote and your country too so you should have the right to make up your own mind and cast your own individual vote.
But it’s not just the presidential vote you should concern yourself with. Make sure to do this for your state and even more local races as well. Google who is running for seats in your state and read up, these people are just as important because they represent you in Washington D.C. when laws are being made and decided on. Also make sure to look up what sort of issues will be on your ballots because things like propositions, measures, referendums, etc are incredibly important and can decide some very serious things within your state and even smaller districts. These are all things that despite how much you think they will or wont effect you, they do and so you should be aware of them. You lose your right to be outraged when you didn’t do your research or even bother to vote. You’ve been given the chance to make your voice heard to silence yourself is the worst.
At this point I have reached over 1200 words on this and I think that alone states how vital I think the topic is. I truly believe that voting and speaking out about the importance of the responsibility of it is as big of a deal as it is played out in society. Granted it gets drowned out by attack ads and frankly just some really stupid and materialistic things but that doesn’t make it any less massive in significance. I just figured that since I’ve started this blog I could take the time to sit down and express those feelings and hopefully, maybe, encourage a person or two to reconsider their thoughts and make the effort to research and then get out there and vote. Part of that whole, I wanna do good and make a change thing again.
Another great website that helps with all this election confusion is http://www.votesmart.org, they have everything really well-organized and described in awesome detail about the various levels of elections and the issues as well. MTV also usually does a great job at covering the election and what it all means, they tend to aim at the younger demographic but still it never hurts to over research. I promise the next blog, whenever it is that I get to it since let’s be honest I am not the best at producing these in a regular fashion, won’t be so heavy. In fact, I’ll make an effort to infuse it with the things like pop culture or life events.