I’m in the Minority, I’ll Miss Election Hoopla

A Boomer’s Journal

by Tom Anselm

By this time next week, the 2012 elections will be history.  No more survey calls, no more polling results, no more ads touting the best of this candidate and the worst of that opponent.  And believe it or not, in spite of what I said just a bit ago to wife Jill, I think I will miss it.

I will miss it because it is all a reminder of what separates our nation from many others, and that is our freedom of speech.  Lately, that speech may have lifted us up, or infuriated us.  It may have brought tears to our eyes, or nausea to our gut.

But it is this same guarantee that is at the foundation of our republic.  This experiment in self-governing which is the United States of America is not by any means perfect.

I want this contest to go Man’s and woman’s desire for power can lead to abuses of the truth, loss of integrity and failure to meet the basic standards of decency.  We have seen an unfortunately serious division among our populace, maybe the greatest in my lifetime.  Of course, I lived through the very divisive ‘60s, of which it has been said “if you can remember the ‘60s, you didn’t live it”.  Well, thankfully, I do remember.  Now it seems that economic and foreign issues have again produced clear differences between the major parties with each side having a distinctly different idea of governance and direction.

Now, some people say that we are mere pawns in this game.  That the outcomes are predetermined by mysterious, hidden, ultra-rich entities that pull the strings of their puppets-politicians.  There may be some truth to that.  We may never know about that. I hope to live long enough to read an objective history of these remarkable times.  Still, I wonder, if our vote really doesn’t matter, then why are the boys behind the podiums and teleprompters busting their humps day after day with little sleep and obviously terrible digestive habits to secure my one little nod in their direction?

And what about that vote, eh?  There are some 230 million Americans who are voter eligible.  Of that number, one source has it that 61.6% of that number actually cast a ballot in 2008.  And that was in a year that saw a lot more voters than previous national elections.  So at best, we as a nation are showing up at the polls with less than two-thirds of our potential.  That is problematic, in my view.

It may even be considered disrespectful of all that has been sacrificed by a great many to protect and preserve that right.  I am not chastising those who show up and make their choice.  But I am banging a bit on those who, without good reason, don’t.  And it’s worse if you are not even registered.  When you don’t vote, you have no right to gripe about the outcome.

It’s been said that we get the representation we deserve.  But with the way the scene is setting up with the result likely to be determined by a few key states’ electoral votes, I’m not sure if it applies this year. Okay, maybe locally more than nationally.  But one thing is for certain… there’s gonna be bunches of people unhappy, I mean really put off, come this Nov. 7.

Of course a certain way.  I fear for the future of my children and grandchildren if it does not.  But no matter the result, I will be thankful that I live in the good old US of A, and at least have the chance to make my voice known.  As Cubs fans well know, there’s always a next year (or four!)  See you at the polls!



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