Oh goody, it’s election day (and I live in the country where everyone forgets that not all the people on the internet are from the same country!). Finally, I will stop getting election fliers clogging up my mailbox. I’ve been eagerly awaiting this day for weeks! I almost missed getting a package because of those stupid election fliers, you know. There was so much junk in with my mail that the package notification slip got mixed in with it, and I didn’t even find out the package had arrived until I went in to the office to ask a week later. I was specifically sorting through the junk mail carefully to make sure I wouldn’t miss the stuff that’s actually important, too.
But I wouldn’t have been looking forward to election day quite so much if I’d remembered how much everyone and their sister guilts trips people about voting, though. You have to vote! It doesn’t matter who you vote for! You just have to VOTE! No excuses! Did you VOTE today? You need to VOTE!
Why is it that the guilt trip only comes out for presidential elections? No one gave a shit last time I didn’t vote in an election that wasn’t about the president. I’m fairly certain I’m not doing my civic duty by ignoring House, Senate, and governor elections, but the only time I get shit about it is when it’s the president. And the presidential election is the one where my vote makes the least fucking difference. How many other millions of people are voting in the presidential election again?
And even when I’m not feeling cynical about how little fucking difference one vote makes, there’s the candidates. It’s a two party system, and we get two candidates. Nevermind the smoke screen of third party candidates. None of them have a prayer of being elected. Everyone knows it’s about the big two. And, like every year, I don’t like EITHER of the two candidates. In fact, this year is something new for me, in that I can actually say that I dislike one of the candidates more than the other. What kind of fucking choice is that? What kind of vote is this I have the right to, where we are so stuck in the two party system that, while I can technically vote for any candidate I want, the only vote that will have meaning is one cast for one of the two major party candidates? So, like, I have a right to vote for the lesser of two evils? Fuck this messed up shit.
At least with Senate, House, and governor type positions, being a third party candidate isn’t a sure fire way to lose. Surely, for one who doesn’t like either of the two available parties, there is more hope for actually affecting how the country is run in these elections, which are not so thoroughly stuck in the two party rut? But no, it’s all about the presidential election. I highly doubt anyone will be guilt tripping me for not voting for a Senate candidate. Heck, I haven’t even heard of any of the people running in my state. But I’d have to literally live under a rock to avoid hearing about the presidential candidates, and I only metaphorically live under a rock, so I’ve heard all about those two.
Isn’t it so ironic, that I live in a country that’s all so proud about freedom and democracy and voting and government officials being responsible to the people and shit, and I feel like I’m completely powerless?
Maybe I shouldn’t get so distracted by the presidential election. Maybe I should focus on the stuff where I can actually make a difference. Local elections. Writing letters to Congressmen. Stuff like that. Then the next time someone tries to guilt trip me about voting for the president, I’ll guilt trip them about voting for Congressmen, or voting in the primaries. Maybe I’ll join a party I hate just so I can vote in the primaries and almost have some actual say in who gets to be president. Maybe next presidential election, I’ll write in Cthulhu (why settle for the lesser of two evils?) on the ballot, just to protest having to pick between two candidates I hate. Maybe I’ll write a blog post about how silly it is to confuse voting for the president with civic duty. Oh, wait…
Just for the record, I did actually vote (for the president, anyway, like that’s the only thing that matters). I’m just really resentful about it. The glass is half empty, ok?