Today, I voted. Seemingly this would be an innocuous feat, but I’m 36 years old and I have never voted before. In my youth, I vowed never to vote as a stand against several things; I hate the two party system which denigrates the entire concept of “democracy” as to me it becomes simply a less obvious and only slightly more voluntary monarchy of sorts. The second reason I never voted was because of the Electoral College. I find the entire concept, created in an era when it was blamed on technology as a way to supersede the real counting of ballots for such a large collection of supposedly free peoples.
I broke my vow because the last 8 years have sucked. Plain and simple, there has been suckage. I am a pragmatic anarchist in terms of how I view politics. The real problems of society and especially America at this point all revolve around a greater problem than pointing fingers at any one person or even small group of individuals. I also believe that one man/woman can make a difference to make a, forgive the cliché, change.
Unfortunately, this year looked to be a tough decision. In 2007 I started paying attention to the the maverick, John McCain. He looking into his past and his history, I would have really believed in him as a man to rebel against traditional Republican nasties, but still be conservative where it counted. Then the last 6 months have him undoing everything he used to believe in to cater to a Republican base. THE DAILY SHOW, unlike the formerly respectable media, actually showed a montage of things he said from 1999-2007 and played them back to back with Summer 2008 speeches of John McCain and he has gone 180 degrees the other way. He doesn’t believe in what he’s saying now or he changed his mind, either way, he’s not someone I would then trust in office, nor is that something I find respectable. He’s not evil, nor do I find him to be a bad person, but he’s not earning any respect, and now not my first vote.
What happened to the media being watchdogs? Why aren’t they really attacking some key, important issues? Why do I have to get a sense of justice from a comedy show? The “news” if they dare to be called that, has become “info-tainment”. Whole networks or individual shows now cater to specific points of view and warp facts&reality to the point of creating mistrust in the news. I can’t stand either polarizing side at this point. It appears that the Associated Press and Reuters are about all that’s left of news organizations that try to leave their politics and views out and just report facts, and even then they still fall prey to the sway of press releases and rumors, only not as often.
The state of the world today and how it affects me directly got me off my ass (the tubby one) and into the booth today. My goal was to get up and go to the polls between 9:30AM-11:00AM because by my logic, all the early go-to-workers will be done and I can beat the vote-at-lunch-crowd too. Also, I guessed the lines would be down because of all the early voting, that including My Sexy Fiancé Veronica ™ this past Sunday, who braved a 4+ hour line. Today we go to the polling place and I walk right in, no lines outside. They direct me to the 3 windows broken down alphabetically, and there’s no line for “R”, so I then go right up to one of the 20 voting machines, more than half of which empty await voters. I cast my votes and got on out of there. I guess this is NOT the experience of waiting that I was expecting. I had brought a book, some juice, and a mindset for waiting.
Even though the electoral way of voting seems futile and the unfairness of getting to only select one of two candidates chosen for me, I still felt it necessary to vote today. It seemed important and could make a significant difference to how things are going to go. I voted what I believe to be best for the future and to make the most impact in a positive light.
I’m inundated with editing work, all of which keeps me from working on the documentary now less than 2 weeks from playing in front of an audience. YIKES! Time is NOT my friend. I want to take a week to myself when COWTOWN is done. It won’t happen, but it’s what I would like.
- Peter John Ross on Election Day