by Ed Singer
The ballot I cast for the recent election and what it means to me.
| Yesterday was the day that any American who gives a damn about the world around them went out and cast their votes for, among other things, whom they want to run our fine nation. To me, it makes very little difference. Whoever wins, the difference made in my life will be, realistically speaking, a small one. Besides, what's one voice among hundreds of millions, anyway? Regardless, I performed my civic duty by filling out a few bubbles on a piece of paper and depositing it into a large machine.
My vote was left blank for all but the presidency and the ballot questions. I ignored the senator, congressmen, and other positions to be filled by various statesmen whose names mean little to me. Part of the reason for this is that it doesn't matter who's sitting in what seat and who isn't, (not to mention both the candidates for the senate are fucks if you ask me), but mostly because I am uneducated on the matter. I've learned more about these people from agenda-driven radio ads and politically biased tabloids than I have from actual research. Hell, bumper stickers and picket signs have taught me more than what I've learned myself.
The presidential candidates weren't much different. Sure, I'd looked into both of them myself a little bit, and based much of my decision upon such information, but to say mass media advertisement haven't influenced me greatly would be an ignorant claim. It seems that those who manage the campaign of these men put a lot of time, money, and effort towards the demographic that barely pays attention. Which makes sense when you think about it; consider how many people watched the presidential debates versus those who've seen a shitty thirty second ad that basically just slings mud at the opposing candidate.
I'll say it outright, my vote went towards President Barack Obama. There isn't much to it other than I prefer his healthcare policies over Senator Mitt Romney. Other than that, there's very little I care about in terms of what goes on in our nation. Again, I'll blame my uneducation for this. However, despite all the bullshit circulating in modern media about who's the right candidate to vote for (or more often, who we shouldn't vote for), there was one ad that really caught my attention. A pro-Obama television commercial that featured Mitt Romney advising financially-struggling college students to "borrow money from your parents". This is an absolutely ridiculous thing for a man in his position to say.
Now, it's not unlikely that Mr. Romney simply didn't consider the implications of a thought that probably sounded better in his head. This happens to me on a regular basis -- and at the end of the day, he's just as human as I am -- but to think a man can be so far removed from the working-class that he'd say something like that, even in blunder, strikes me as wrong.
For that reason, a request as silly as "borrow money from your parents" stuck with me. Presently, I hand over a five hundred dollar check to my folks each month for rent. This isn't something that I ever think to question. It's money that covers the expenses generated by my living under their roof, and it's money that gets paid on time, if not a few days late due to slipping the mind. One of these expenses is the cost of their healthcare, under which I am protected. As far as I know, it's a pretty hefty bill, and I'm simply doing my part to pull my own weight.
Health insurance, seemingly the one of the many things that concern The Man in the Oval Office that also happens to concern me. No reason other than that to vote for who I want to vote for, but nonetheless it's my vote. And I'm proud of it. Even if it's essentially meaningless among countless others like it, I'm proud of it.