Today I headed to the polls to do my civic duty and vote in the presidential election. Despite the fact that I live in a state where it would truly take an act of god to change the political views of the population. Utah is a “red” state, so as a liberal mind, my voting in a liberal fashion has been compared to things like the salmon run and swimming up stream. It is unfortunate that the way our electoral system is set up, that the votes of the few of us will make little difference (since the popular vote counts for little and the electoral vote for Utah will in all inevitability go red).
So, why have I chosen to resurrect my blog now? Well, after making a post on facebook about who I didn’t vote for and why, in traditional facebook style people made assumtions about what I didn’t say and wondered why my argument was on-sided. Why do I have to say why I WOULDN’T vote for one person AND why I WOULD vote for someone else? I am allowed to have a one sided argument. Besides, it is generally easier to express what you don’t like about something . Also, by saying that I don’t like candidate X, that leave 3-4 other candidates that I might like, maybe I don’t want to talk about all of them!
I am not a super political person. I am not really a political person at all. When it comes time for elections, I gather all the facts that I can, try to make heads and tails of them, then vote. I would imagine that even those people who have advanced degrees in political science get totally lost when it comes to presidential campaign time. From there I look at the issues that seem to matter to me, and again, the ones that I understand. If you didn’t already get it from what I have said so far, I am also a liberal, conservative policy makers piss me off.
When I do things like watch the debates or listen to interviews or read the newspapers, I pick up on things like the following list of reasons why I wouldn’t want Romney & Ryan in position of ultimate power in this country (take almost verbatim from my facebook page).
Talking about politics to people who are passionate about politics is like quoting the bible, both sides can take the same words and issues and wrap them up to fit their needs and beliefs. Will our country come to an end if the “wrong” person is elected? No. Will it affect me? Possibly.
If my LGBT friends are denied rights, if my wife can’t get prescription contraceptives if she wants/needs, if the women I know are given job/wage equality, then yes.
I have lived through one of biggest recessions since the great depression and I have come out ok. At this point, our government would probably have to take us to hell in a hand basket for things to get much worse. I don’t want to see our natural resources plundered and our land destroyed to find coal and oil and gas. I don’t want to live in a country where the law could allow police to stop anyone on the street who just looks like they might be an illegal immigrant. I don’t want a president who blames our problems with assault weapons on the street on single mothers and bad parenting.
So, yes, you are right, I have no right to tell you who to vote for. I do have every right to say who I DIDN’T vote for, and why. For that matter I would also have every right to say who I did vote for. I just chose to do only the former. I also don’t care if my positions and views are the same as yours or not. I am resigned to the fact that I live in a state that is comprised of very conservative people, such is life. So I will join the few fishes swimming upstream and vote against the current.
So by all means start a political debate with me. Next tuesday it won’t matter either you will be stuck with someone you don’t like or didn’t vote for or I might be, or not. Don’t debate me though if you haven’t or won’t get off your ass to do your civic duty and vote, because if you don’t, you have no right to debate!