“Candidates matter, and campaigns matter, and STRATEGIES matter.” -ABC News
To this, I tell you, ABC… Uh… Duh?
Being a temporary Ohioan, I cannot say how much I am glad to see November 6th come and go, since Ohio has effectively been bombed by the political machine these past few months.
I have something to confess. I am ashamed to admit that I have not kept up on current affairs since Finn was born. Like, AT ALL. Nathan looked at me with genuine horror when I asked him what the hell Occupy Wall Street was. That was a few months ago. That was about the same time I was like, “What? The election is THIS year? Already??”
I’ll wait for you to pick your jaw up off the floor.
I know, I know. Shame, shame, shame…
I used to listen to hours of news radio every day. Nowadays, the only television we watch is Netflix and even if I could get NPR reception, I would probably never listen to anything other than songs from The Nightmare Before Christmas and the track from The Main Street Electrical Parade. It isn’t an excuse not to be barely alert to what happens outside my property lines, but it is what it is.
Nathan, on the other hand, has the major news networks running nonstop at his office. It is the nature of his job to need to know what is going on around this blue planet, so most of the information I hear is filtered through Nae’s brain. I’m not going to get political, but we are a purple household; half blue and half red. So what I hear also been spun by a member of the opposite party, whether Nathan means to or not.
After stacks of political fliers made the journey from my mailbox to the recycling bin and my doorbell was rang by volunteers making sure I was voting today, my guilt had really begun to sink in. I watched the Presidential Debates (a good chunk of two of them, anyway), but other than that, I voted along the same party lines as I did four years ago. I am an uneducated voter this time around. I thought seriously about shirking my constitutional right today simply because I didn’t feel like I deserved to vote.
But, if dead people have voted in the past, surely my vote is a little more important than that.
My tipping point came when I realized that I would be dragging both kids with me to the polls. I think it might be enough to keep a few folks from voting; shifting a twenty-something pound baby from hip to hip for thirty-five minutes, but it did the opposite for me. Yes, Finn was kept busy with my phone while I waited in line this morning. No, we don’t talk about politics when the kids are around often. But…
He has to see me do this. Finn needs me vote. He needs to understand that this is going to be his responsibility one day, too. Even though he doesn’t really understand any of it yet.
What voting meant to Finn was that he was doted upon by the elderly election officials, got an “I Love Voting” sticker and a strawberry-frosted donut for his efforts. So be it. He is three.
But next time he will be seven. And ELEVEN the next round. Holy shit. My mind has just been blown.
So, for no other reason than I miss the days when I could listen to “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” and know the answer to every single question, I have decided to make an Election Day resolution.
I WILL PAY MORE ATTENTION TO CURRENT EVENTS. Outside of keeping tabs on the nuptials of celebrities. I promise.