Voting on the Ides of March

If you live in Florida, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, or North Carolina, today is your voting day. Let your voice be heard!

To be totally honest, I’m not hugely impressed with any of the candidates on either side. All of the people I really want to be president would never run, and I think that has been the case for as long as democracy has existed: the true “man [or woman] of the people” will never step forward. It takes some degree of insanity (and probably a huge amount of caffeine) to run for public office (and probably even more insanity to stay in it).

The media creates an interesting conundrum for voters; on one hand, voters are supposedly more informed about the candidates than they were many years ago when America was in its infancy, but on the other hand, a great amount of the information is biased and flat-out untrue. Information from the candidates themselves is distorted and stretched to fit that person’s (or their party’s) agenda, and they may not be consistent about their stance on certain issues.

Is it better to vote for who you perceive to be the least of a bunch of evils? Or is it best to sit out and not vote at all? I would think that it is best to do the former; that way when the person you didn’t want to win gets elected, you can at least be able to say that you voted against him or her. Too many people fought and died for our freedoms in this country, so in a way, I think that not voting is kind of a slap in the face. (And voting is a better way of making your voice heard than going out and literally slapping the faces of those who disagree with you.) However, there are many who say that an uninformed or misinformed vote is worse than not voting at all, but who’s to say who has the “correct” information? Sometimes I suppose you have to use what you know and go with your gut feeling about a candidate.

What do you think?

Election Day

This past weekend, I voted early and I’m glad I got that over with and out of the way (plus, the lines weren’t long at all). I won’t say who or what I voted for, and I’m not going to endorse a particular candidate or give a long list of reasons for why you should vote or shouldn’t vote for or against a particular issue.

The important thing is to vote… and to vote for the right reasons. (I would say that an uneducated or ignorant vote is worse than not voting at all.) The presidential election is how we will determine the fate of the country. If you do not vote, than you should not complain if your preferred candidate was not elected. There are plenty of chances to vote: absentee ballots, early voting, curbside voting, etc. You don’t really have an excuse not to vote.

If you’re still undecided, now is the time to do some serious research. Watch the presidential and vice presidential debates over again. Read some of the analysis and commentary. What issues are important to you? Which candidate’s views align with yours the most? How do you want the world to be for your children or grandchildren?

I’ve heard a lot of people referring to this year’s election as a choice between “the lesser and the greater of two evils.” It’s no secret that the candidates lie, and have lied to get where they are now. Politicians all lie, and that is unfortunate. I firmly believe the saying that the person who will make the best president will never run—either for lack of funds or because they are not willing to climb over others to get to the top.

We are asked the question, “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?” I think that question is a lot more than a simple yes or no answer. A lot of the time, we’re better off in some ways, but in a lot of ways, we’re not doing as well as we were. So vote with an open mind. That is the biggest favor you can do, for yourself and for your country.

High School Never Ends

As November 6 draws nearer, the presidential campaign drama intensifies. It ought to be an overhyped reality TV show. The Real Politicians of DC. I can see it now. But I’m not underestimating the importance of the presidential election. It just seems to me that both parties sling so much mud at each other and the mainstream media is so biased that it’s nearly impossible to find any kind of objectivity. It’s hard to find the candidate whose beliefs match yours because they both waver in their positions on nearly every issue. It doesn’t seem like there’s any consistency. I honestly don’t sympathize with either Romney or Obama. The whole thing reminds me of a high school popularity contest: who has the most fans, the most campaign money, the most big-business support, the most effective ads… so it made me think of this song:

Nothing changes but the faces, the names, and the trends
High school never ends

-Bowling for Soup, “High School Never Ends”

Some of us are still obsessed with whether or not Obama’s birth certificate is real. Some of us are still obsessed with Romney’s tax returns. Republicans are worried Obama will destroy the world. Democrats are worried that Romney will destroy the world. (I say the world’s headed for its own destruction either way.)

There are some things we can all agree on. Nobody wants higher taxes, more outsourcing of jobs, or a higher unemployment rate… and on and on it goes. Nobody wants a leader who isn’t qualified to lead. Nobody wants a leader who’s only looking out for his own best interests. And there are some things it feels like we will never agree on: abortion, immigration, health care, etc.

But, ironically, the person who would really make the best leader for our country is a person who would never run for president. And that makes me think about high school. Usually, the  prom king and the prom queen don’t become the most successful. The people who bullied you in high school are probably flipping burgers or are in jail right now, or… they could be those mudslingers in the Senate or in Congress. High school never truly ends because we, as human beings, are addicted to drama. And what better drama is there than watching two men argue over the future of America?