Saturday, November 3, 2012

Election 2012

Only eighty hours until "No More Political Ads" Day!  For this, I am grateful.
The last presidential election nearly gave me a stroke.  They say there is no physical indicator of an increase in blood pressure, but I'm sure the months-long burning in my ears could refute that claim soundly.  This combined with the emitted steam and their blinking red hue, well... let's just say I spent the Fall of 2008 resembling a Donald Duck cartoon from the neck up.  The tips of my ears managed to develop a pulse of their own separate from the rest of my body and I could evaporate falling snow just by walking through it.
Thankfully, I've either matured or gotten lazy in the following years and the only body part that's developed its own pulse this election season is the pimple that claimed squatter's rights on my right temple a week ago and refuses to evict.  Even this, due more to dairy than political furor.
I'm the kind of voter every election campaign loathes.  I'm a devoted American, but mistrustful of government.  I'm an active citizen who hates politics.  I'm a moral person who realizes that I can still be the same, no matter who is in office and what becomes law.  The reason campaigners hesitate at my kinds' doors is because people like me don't see the world in black or white (or red and blue, I should say.)
My kind isn't swayed by attack ads.  We don't stress over which hospital on which continent people were born.  We're not impressed that we've received robo-calls from both Bill Clinton and Clint Eastwood (though, we might be mildly amused.) We don't think either candidate is pure good or full-on evil.  We won't hand someone a career of national control because we happen to agree upon one social issue.  We don't judge a whole being based on one thing that fell through the cracks during their career, the joint they smoked in high school, the domestic skills of their spouses or who their daughters might be sleeping with.  And, we certainly don't want to be constantly told why we shouldn't be voting for the other guy.  Why should we vote for you?
There's a certain type of person that chooses politics as their career and those are the people we must elect from.  Mother Theresa never ran for government.  We won't see "Jesus Christ" printed on the ballot.  So there you go.  Deal.  Perfection is not an option, so quit expecting people to vote based of that specification or implying that it's even a possibility.

That said, it's time to get a few things straight:

Contrary to your Facebook posts; I am not an idiot, racist, war-monger, disillusioned pacifist, moron or R-word-that-we-don't-use-in-our-house if I don't punch the same chad as you on Tuesday.  You calling me those names will not shame me into changing my vote. (Because, that's your intention, right?)

I am not prejudice if I choose red and I am not sinful if I choose blue.  My vote does not count any less because there are no signs in my front yard.  (Lawn signs don't sway voters, by the way... they're just calling cards so teenagers know which houses to egg and neighbors know who they might want at their next barbecue.)  I'm not uninvolved because I'm not shouting my vote from rooftops and I'm not staying quiet out of shame either.  I have my convictions, you have yours.  My opinion shouldn't be regarded any higher or lower than yours; or yours than mine.

Contrary to the television and radio ads, when I vote on the local proposals I'm not choosing between children and bureaucrats (as one ad suggests.)  I'm not voting for things in opposition to particular vocations or lifestyles.  I'm not voting against ideas that  can't be further tweaked, improved upon and voted on again.  The people making these ads are doing so because they're paid to.  Not, because they understand the issues inside and out from both sides.

Contrary to the weight we like to put on the position of the presidency, I'm responsible for researching my local congress and senate candidates as well. When people get mad at the president, it's usually over something that's being bickered about in one of those other large white buildings in Washington.

Most importantly, this is not the Super Bowl.  No matter what the outcome on Tuesday, promise me this: Don't cry.  Don't brag.  Don't taunt.  Don't loot.  Don't crumble into a heaping mess.  Don't move to Canada (because that's just the dumbest threat ever... unless you actually have family there.  Then you can go.)  Don't kick your neighbor's dog.  Don't relieve yourself on passing cars.  Don't call people names.  Don't type your Facebook posts in all caps.  And, please, no fanny-wagging!

Believe it or not, whatever happens on Tuesday is not the end or salvation of the world.  Move yourself forward.  Propel and be the president of your own life.  No one in Washington is in charge of who you can be.  Continue to be a good citizen, neighbor, family member and friend.  We're just hiring someone for a temp job, for goodness sakes.  Get a grip!  Slap on that blood pressure cuff, vote and then breeaaaattthhe...  We'll have to do it all again in four more years.

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