11.02.2010

Even if you're disgusted.

Voting day is always a bit of a conundrum for me.

Deep down, I still believe it is my duty, my responsibility as a citizen, to get out there and vote.

But I never seem to know exactly what I'm doing.

I know a lot of it is my own lackadaisical approach to politics and my poor effort to educate myself.

And I would say in the last few years I really have gained an interest and actually started paying attention...or trying to.

Forgive me for whining about the media again, but it really is a frustrating experience to try and weed through all the crap out there and get to the nitty gritty. Just give me the basics. Give me your platform. Give me your issues, let me see how they line up with mine, stop cutting down your opponent and get rid of the fluff. That's all I want.

But it really is a lot to ask these days because fluff sells. Attacking ads prevail. And so to me, politics has come to be equated with a mixture of pride, arrogance, deceit, confusion, and well, failure.

I know that is harsh and I know that there are a lot of good people who have given their life to make this country better. And I appreciate that, I really do. But their good deeds get swallowed by the circus in Washington. Good efforts seem to be marred with eventual corruption.

So, in a word, I suppose you could say that at the ripe ol' age of twenty-five, I have become cynical.

But I am still proud to be an American, despite the fact that I don't see eye to eye with either of our political parties. And I'm learning more and more that cynicism is the easy answer. Because then all I have to do is roll my eyes, fold my arms and criticize. And then act surprised when nothing ever changes. But hey, at least no one can blame me.

The point of all this rambling is to say that I am voting today.

Partly out of obligation but partly out of a determination that you know what? After all these years, all these mistakes, and even, yes, many successes in our journey as the U.S. of A, this is still my right.

And cynicism is such a tired badge to wear.

"If you don't vote because you're trying to teach politicians a lesson, you're tragically misguided in your strategy. The very politicians you're trying to send a message to don't want you to vote. Since 1960, voting turnouts in mid-term elections are down significantly, and there's one reason: because of TV advertising.

"Political TV advertising is designed to do only one thing: suppress the turnout of the opponent's supporters. If the TV ads can turn you off enough not to vote ("they're all bums") then their strategy has succeeded.

"The astonishing thing is that voters haven't figured this out. As the scumminess and nastiness of campaigning and governing has escalated and the flakiness of candidates appears to have escalated as well, we've largely abdicated the high ground and permitted selfish partisans on both sides to hijack the system.

"Voting is free. It's fairly fast. It doesn't make you responsible for the outcome, but it sure has an impact on what we have to live with going forward. The only thing that would make it better is free snacks.

Even if you're disgusted, vote. Vote for your least unfavorite choice. But go vote."

Wise words from Seth Godin.(emphasis mine)

2 comments:

Sarah said...

i appreciate this and i'm posting a response. check it out.

Sara said...

Loved it! Thanks friend. I always love hearing your perspective. --especially in person...but Blogger works too :)