If any more of these people approach me again, I’m going to lose it I thought to myself. I tried to sneak through the battlefield, but it’s of no use, my stocky body was not exactly built for stealth. I have fallen into their crosshairs and they’re rapidly advancing on my position, massive stacks of red and blue paper ammunition in hand, uniforms covered in gleaming campaign buttons…..Vote Obama, Vote McCain! Now only seconds remained, and I desperately searched my mind for something, anything to stem the tide, but what I found surprised even me.
“I’m a non voting felon,” I stated, with as straight a face as I could manage. It’s a miracle, it’s the magic words, the hands clutching flyers that swarm my face like mosquitoes are immediately retracted, the roaring noise of campaign slogans fell silent, and these soldiers quickly retreated away as if twenty yards was the minimum safe distance from the violent maniac they’ve accidentally run into on the city streets. I enjoy politics, but there is only so much I can take, and after this crazy election year, I’m completely exhausted. I’m sick of hearing the words change, my friends, experience, Joe the plumber, main street, and wall street.
Late that evening, after this grisly scene, I arrived at my local school, and entered the solemn booth to carry out my civic duty. As my finger hovers over the button, I pondered all of the events that led up to this one singular moment, and for the last time I deeply questioned what I intended to do….vote for a third party candidate. I recalled a conversation I had with a friend who told me how he watched Obama speak once, and had made up his mind to vote for him.
When I pressed him on the political issues, he admitted he was ignorant of what Obama’s positions were, to which I sarcastically replied, “As are most Americans.” I decided to play devil’s advocate and questioned him on why he wasn’t voting for McCain. I already knew I wouldn’t be voting for McCain. I disliked several Senate bills he had sponsored, primarily McCain-Kennedy, which sought to grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants without attempting to solve the actual problem.
My friend quickly shot back. “I have two words for you” he said, leaving a small dramatic pause for effect, “President Palin!” Suddenly flashbacks of her lackluster television interviews and horrendous answers to questions flooded my mind, and I can’t be sure, but I think I involuntarily cringed backwards in my seat. My friend brought up McCain’s health issues, and I told him he indeed had a fair point, a Sarah Palin presidency was something I couldn’t stomach. Maybe if McCain had gone with a better vice presidential pick than Palin he could’ve swayed me, but I couldn’t stand another evangelical Christian in office attempting to assault our science classes with two-thousand year old mythology. The wall of separation between church and state had already been battered with faith based initiatives under Bush.
However, I believe that few Americans have any idea of what Barack Obama really stands for, or what he means by the word “change.” This is mostly because he hasn’t defined the term, and it actually worked quite well in his favor as many people whom I have spoken with who are voting for Obama, define this “change” he claims he will bring in very different ways. In many cases they defined the “change” to fit into what they personally wanted done in the government, or as simply fixing a current problem, but they conveniently left out the means to how this is achieved. The “change” question is remarkably analogous to asking two people of the same religion to define what exactly they believe, as you will get two very different answers every time. Also I have come to find that so many of his “change” supporters can’t name a single law he had voted for while in the Illinois state legislation or U.S. Senate.
I have come to judge politicians by their actions, and not by their words. Remember many politicians will say almost anything to get elected, and keep their true views hidden in order to win the most votes by appearing as a moderate. I don’t want an extremist government that leans far one way or the other, and I would argue that most people feel the same way, but I don’t think most people fully understand the “change” that they are going to receive in the next four years. I’m tired of people around me, including friends and family, telling me that “You’re throwing your vote away” because I went for a third party candidate. I say check back with me in four years time, and we’ll see who made the better decision.