How many times have I sat down with the intention of writing this post? I have lost count...
Politics are tricky. Bob Newhart once said that he never commented on politics because he would automatically lose half his fans. The same can be said of friends these days. With the explosion of social media since the last Presidential Election, we all know who our friends and acquaintances support in the election. I would rather have not known.
I'm a Democrat. I have (and yes, I'm ashamed) voted for a few Republicans, although not recently. I could be considered more of a conservative one. I think that people who can work, should work and support themselves. I think that abortions are not a viable form of birth control. I'm a Christian, but I think that churches shouldn't get a tax exemption when they can build cathedrals and pay their pastors enough to live in mansions, and when those pastors preach politics from the pulpit.
But I'm very glad that abortions are SAFE and legal for those who need them, that the welfare system is in place for those who need it, and that small churches don't have the additional burden of paying taxes when the idea of a 10% tithe is impossible for people who are struggling to feed their families.
I live in a heavily Democratic county within a state that is firmly on the other side of the fence. Indiana usually goes to the right, leaving Lake County as a little blue corner. My vote doesn't count for much state-wide. And we get our television stations from Chicago, which is, like us, very firmly Blue. We don't see the commercials because the Republicans don't want to waste their campaign funds on people who aren't going to vote for them and the Democrats know that we're going to vote for them anyway. Only on my trips to swing states have I even seen any of the commercials for any candidates.
This is why I think the Electoral College should go away. It's outdated and ineffective. Why bother voting when Ohio or North Carolina or Florida are the real battlegrounds? You don't want to campaign for MY vote? Then why on earth would I give it to you?
Al Gore lost the 2000 election by 543 (or maybe 537) votes in Florida. Even though he won the actual total vote count, he still lost because of an antiquated system. None of our votes counted, except for less than 550 Republicans in Florida - and at least one Supreme Court Justice.
Added to that, millions of us aren't even registered to vote, and only 50-60% of registered voters actually go to the polls to vote! Our forefathers would be horrified! They braved crossing the Atlantic, fighting the British, and building a NEW COUNTRY because they didn't have a vote. And WOMEN weren't allowed to vote until 1920! They had to pass a Constitutional Amendment to get it!
Registering and voting aren't that hard. If you can update your Facebook status every time you eat or watch a funny television show, you can take the time to register and vote.
So, vote on November 6th, or earlier where possible. No matter who you vote for, really. If everyone who was eligible to vote did so, the results just might make a difference.