Pink Sheets

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Opinionless In Idaho

I've been perusing the blogs and there seems to be a common theme amongst them since the elections. Apparently, the United States is losing several citizens. They're leaving the country.

Are they actually moving away? I don't know. Does this always happen? Every four years do people insist they won't be able to live in the US as long as so and so is in office? Or is it just this year and this election? I'm 28 years old and this is the first time I have ever voted for a President, the second time I have ever voted. I have always believed that it didn't matter whether I voted or not. Idaho isn't a very competitive state when it comes to Democrats and Republicans. Regardless of what party I claimed to be a member of the outcome would always be the same.

I changed my mind a few years ago, though I'm not exactly sure why. Maybe the company I have been keeping in the past couple of years has made me realize that I should, if nothing else, cast my ballot. I don't have to be an activist, just exercise my privilege to vote.

Until recently, I have never been surrounded by people with the same ideals as me. There were my parents, who never talked about politics in great detail, but I know who they supported. This is probably why I have the notion of Republicans that I do. My parents tried to raise me Mormon and I have a very unpleasant view of Mormons to this day, which is probably a different post and topic all together. Anyway, my view of Mormons is that they are male dominated and the women are always subservient to the husbands and fathers and leaders of the church. This isn't actually my opinion, it's fact. At a young age, early teens perhaps, I always thought my father was the devil. He was always telling my mother what she could and could not do and I hated this. No man would ever have such control over my thoughts. Ever. This is the first exposure to politics (religious politics?) that has me leaning towards the Democratic party. At this age I don't believe that I thought, "when I grow up I'm going to be a Democrat". But I'm positive this had an effect on the choice I made last Tuesday.

A few years older and I started to become exposed to the pro-life vs pro-choice issues. This time I was mostly surrounded by people who claimed to be pro-choice. They didn't have strong opinions on the subject, but they believed it was a woman's choice. Then, there was that one "friend" who didn't have this view and was somewhat vocal on the subject. All I could think was, "who is this person who thinks she can dictate what women should and should not be doing with their bodies. What makes her such an authority?" And once again a new opinion has been shaped, once again leaning towards Democratic.

When I was old enough to vote my belief was it didn't matter because the state I live in is infected with people who believed the opposite of what I believed. Then I got married into, surprise, surprise, a very conservative, Republican family. Upon learning that should I choose to vote I would vote Democratically I received a phone call from the mother-in-law. She proceeded to tell me that I was wrong to vote for Democrats. We were Republicans and those of lesser financial status, well, they were Democrats. It was us against them. Uh, hello lady. Sorry to break the news to you, but your son and I are of lesser financial status. We are poor. We have no money and while we do not collect welfare we live paycheck to paycheck, which puts us into the "them" category. And so once again I didn't vote because my vote doesn't matter. Now my perspective of Republicans are that they are bossy, rich, and pretentious. Characteristics that I'm not overly fond of. Lucky for me, I am no longer a member of that family.

So what is my point. I suppose I don't truly have one except that several blogs are so angry at people for voting the way they did. They bash people for thinking the way they do and I suppose that I don't understand this state of mind. Okay, that's a lie. I totally get upset when others don't feel the same way I do. I mean, I tend to lump groups of people together in a stereotypical fashion. Brian has told me not to do this and he definitely has a point, I'll give him that. When I told him I vote for Dems because I don't want a rich, white man telling me what I can do with my body, he pointed out that voting for Kerry would would also be putting my rights into the hands of a rich white man. So, that isn't a great argument. My argument is that I don't want anyone telling me what to do with my body or my life in respect to just living. Period.

Also, not the point. I just read these posts and wonder how someone can get mad about the way another person votes. Yes, it's disappointing that Kerry didn't win and that we have to endure another four years of Bush, but isn't it a person's privilege to vote for whomever they want? And isn't that person able to decide for him or herself who the candidate is that most represents their beliefs and attitudes? It is. Are my reasons for voting for Kerry wrong? When all is said and done I know very little about billions of dollars of debt. Please, someone break it down for me. I understand 10's of thousands of dollars of debt, but billions is a little over my head. I know a little about the war in Iraq and very little about national security. What I know is that I'm pro-choice, I'm not against people loving who they may, and I believe that everyone deserves to have a chance to pursue their dreams. I don't believe that Bush gives a second thought to someone like me. Are those reasons good enough or are they just shallow? Do I deserve to vote for the person of my choosing or am I wasting my time? Is it okay to vote even when you don't know all the issues and all the facts? I don't know. It's legal, but am I casting a worthless vote if I'm not totally and completely informed?

I realize there are people out there that know nothing. They vote because someone told them they should be voting that way. They believe misconceptions rather than the truth in regards to the issues. I personally can't stand those people either. Believe me, I have been in arguments with these exact people and the only thing I can argue is that they're stupid and ignorant. See how petty it becomes? And yet they are still able to vote, (as long as they're not a felon that is).

I've decided I'm not going to let them or this particular election discourage me, however. This year I think Kerry received 30% of the vote in Idaho and maybe next time the Democratic candidate will receive 35% or even 40%. Brian told me that this is the goal, to close the gap, not necessarily to win the state. (I'm trusting Brian on this because he is a poly-sci major and this is something he knows.) And in voting next time I will be helping in making this goal possible. I guess this makes me believe that my vote does count.

Alright, this will be the absolute last time I ever talk of politics. I'm not good at it. And in the words of Amanda, "politics are interesting, but not as interesting as say--clothes?" So true.


  • I'm not so much mad at the way people voted but mystified. I mean all you hear are people saying what a horrible job is being done, yadda, yadda and then POOF. Nothing matters anymore.

    Completely baffled.

    I have to admit I am generally one of those people who never has a clue as to what's going on. "Oh, there's an election coming up? Who do I vote for??" BUT we have yet to have such major issues and concerns as there are in the US. To be honest unless we voted some guy from Quebec into office everyone is exactly the same only with a different t-shirt. All I care about is keeping the Quebec guy from winning because he'll separate Quebec from the rest of Canada - and I live there! I want to stay IN Canada. Not be part of some fascist french regime!

    By Blogger cat, at 5:42 PM, November 06, 2004  

  • Hi there! I know what you mean about being raised by Republicans - my folks actually voted for Bush as well. Most of my friends in NYC think that all Republicans are stupid, biggoted and/or ultra-religious, but that's not necessarily true at all.

    It's hard to go against what you've always been told was "true". At least your family has the religion excuse - my folks are agnostic, and even pro-choice. And they're not multi-millionaires, or uneducated, so the whole Bush voting is even more of a mystery.

    You're right that most people don't know why they're voting for whomever they vote for. It's more like supporting a favorite football team or something, only with much bigger consequenses. It must be a challenge to be blue in a red state, but good for you for having your own opinions!

    BTW, thanks for reading my blog!!


    By Blogger Marguerite, at 10:07 AM, November 10, 2004  

  • Thanks for the comments. I came across your blog one day and I really enjoyed it. I've actually been meaning to comment, but one, I am a commenting wimp and two, your comments have been crazy for awhile.

    By Blogger Jolynn, at 10:28 AM, November 10, 2004  

  • Hey, you! Yeah, you, postingless in Idaho! Where the heck are you? :)

    According to Nick Simpson (on access hollywood tonight) he and Jessica are together and happy and not splitting up. Yay for them! I hope they last. I am sick of all celebs getting married for 5 minutes and it not being serious at all.

    You know, like Britney and Nikki Hilton.

    Um..not that they married each other.. but wouldn't that make a great story for In Touch or US Weekly?? :)

    By Blogger cat, at 5:39 PM, November 11, 2004  

  • Something must being going on that you can talk about! Heck, I posted pictures of my undies - and I'm taking a blogging break. HA!

    I miss you! :) (start creepy stalker music)

    By Blogger cat, at 5:50 PM, November 18, 2004  

Post a Comment

<< Home