Rock the boat

04Nov08

vote

I couldn’t wait to be old enough to vote.

I turned 18 in 1992, and I was OVER THE MOON that I could vote for a President in my very first election.

One of my first days at University of Washington, I was approached by a volunteer who registered me to vote. I was thrilled to be registered, yet crushed because I could not declare my party. I wanted to register as a Democrat, because DAMMIT! I was a Democrat and I wanted the world to know.

November 1992, I rolled my bones out of bed in absolute agony — I was suffering from a horrendous flu and utter homesickness — and I walked through bone-chilling cold, and my lungs burned,  for eight blocks to the polls. I voted, and the feeling was everything I had hoped for.

Spring 1995, I was finishing a full year of political science classes. I was a double-major — Political Science and English.  I was taking courses from important political educators, all very liberal, at a very liberal university, and I WAS COMPLETELY TURNED-OFF. The veneer of the left-wing lost its gloss for me. I was feeling uncomfortable. I was realizing I wasn’t the Democrat as I once thought.

I was becoming…a *gasp* REPUBLICAN. I was becoming my father.

November 1996 I cast my vote again, for someone I knew wasn’t going to win. Whereas four years earlier I truly felt like I was part of a big movement, this particular election year I felt like my vote didn’t mean anything.

November 2000, I lived in California. And while my vote wasn’t going to change the enormous state’s electoral count, I felt the same way I did at 18… I was part of something big.

November 2004, I lived in Nevada. Though a very small state, Nevada’s population was growing, and along with it, its importance in the electoral world. Again, I felt like my vote meant something. When I voted for my unpopular candidate, I knew that the liberal media hadn’t swayed my political beliefs, and I knew that there were other people like me who weren’t swayed either.

Today, I voted again. I had a choice between two major candidates, both of whom I just couldn’t back 100%.  In these past 16 years, as my political views have evolved I have learned:

I am financially conservative.

I am socially liberal.

I believe that everyone should be allowed to marry.

I do not believe in over-taxing people who work very hard for their money.

I think abortion is hideous, but it is not my place to tell someone they cannot seek one. And I do not believe there is any way to put allowances on it — rape/incest, birth defects, risk to mother — if the right exists, it must exist for all women.

I do not favor big government.

I believe we need to support our troops, and open our eyes to the good those men and women are doing not only for our country, but for the citizens in the lands our troops occupy. (PLEASE, turn off your television and talk to someone who has served recently. Let THEM tell you what they did everyday in Iraq. And I promise you, the answer is not “Bomb the shit out the locals.”)

I believe Iraq, with their thriving economy, should monetarily repay us for our efforts.

I do not agree with the “religious right.”

I do not support the redistribution of wealth.

I believe the use alternative fuels is crucial to saving our planet. In the meantime, let’s wean ourselves off of foreign oil and limit our use of gas-guzzling SUVs.

I believe we are responsible for our own choices, and our own destiny.

*****

I STAND IN THE MIDDLE, and I cast my presidential vote for the fifth time. Once again, I was part of the larger goal… but when I tapped that touch screen, I felt like I was betraying one-half of my beliefs.

My hope is this: in the next election, we have at least one candidate who doesn’t pander to the far right, or the far left. Someone who can hold on to their integrity. Someone who understands that there might be more voters like me, who don’t buy into party politics.

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14 Responses to “Rock the boat”

  1. This made me teary, friend. For I believe that we are twins in our political views.

    If only there was a party that could balance it all and make me excited about politics.

    I’m proud of you for putting this out here. You are not alone.

    THANK YOU! It was scary to write, and I was shaking by the time I finished this post. As much as I don’t like to reveal too much of myself on this blog, I felt so much when I voted today that I had to put it in writing.

  2. Hear hear!!!

    I personally think government would be a whole lot better off without the “polished” politicians that make it up. I find here in Canada, whether they are one party or another, it doesn’t really matter to me…they are the same you know what, different pile.

    🙂

    And the oil and gas thing? Why is no one getting that we have to find alternatives? WHY?

    *scratches head*

  3. My beliefs are exactly the same as yours (currently).

    I have never been registered to either party and today I cast my ballot for Barack Obama. Because the things I don’t agree with are more agreeable to me than the things that aren’t agreeable to me with McCain.

    Well said, lady.

    xoxoxo

  4. I couldn’t have said it better. I voted with SO MUCH pride. I voted for INSPIRATION for this country…and I feel Obama is the one who has it.

  5. I feel the same as you. I voted last week, I made a choice… but I felt that I wasn’t really doing what my heart and head want and feel for this country. It’s kind of a sad and scary way to leave the polls every time I vote, feeling a little like I’m forced to “settle” in ways.

  6. I have voted for both parties twice since I was able to vote in ’92.

    Clearly, I am more of a middle gal myself.

    Like you, I have grown up leaning one way and have since leaned the other.

    That’s what great about this country! The freedom to change our minds! 🙂

    I am not for abortion either, but I am for the right to choose. I feel that a lot of people misconstrue someone being Pro-Choice as someone who is FOR abortion. There is a difference.

    I would believe more people, no matter their presidential choice, is more like you, than not. No stirring feathers with your honesty. 🙂

    Kudos for speaking your mind!

  7. Fantastic post. I truly hope that the best Man wins and that you guys have the best voter turn out ever.

  8. I was thinking about you this morning actually when I went to vote because I know you’ve felt in the middle and disappointed with the options. I thought about how many voters are in the same boat as you and how that would feel. I tried to put myself in your shoes because for me, the choice this election was an easy one for me. It has not always been but this time was different. I hope someday there is a candidate that is in line with your views because there’s nothing wrong with that. And everyone should feel excited to cast their vote. It’s a great feeling!

  9. Well said, mama.

  10. You said it way better than my irrational mind did. Way to go.

  11. Great post,s eriously.

  12. I am proud that I have voted for both parties in the past, and that I never vote solely along party lines. That being said, while our system is certainly far from perfect,I feel empowered and so happy whenever I vote. It’s such a freedom, and such a power, and I am thankful for it.

    (I also LOVE Elvgren pin-ups. And you, too.)

  13. I could not have said it better myself. I have voted for both “sides” since I came of age in 1992 also. And I absolutely hate partisanship. I didn’t think there was anyone out there in cyberspace who felt the same way. Thanks for posting!!

  14. 14 barbara

    I could have written this post myself (if I had an writing talent). I feel the exact same way you do and ended up voting for the one who I thought was the lesser of two evils. I felt a certain sense of emptiness when I finished voting and left with the feeling that I just did a duty, I didn’t make a difference. I hope, in the very near future, that this party system is split wide open and some candidates who actually represent the views of ‘real’ Americans are allowed to step onto the scene.


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