Thursday, November 4, 2010

Circus Election

I was going to write you up a great blog post last night, but then I started watched PBS.

(How often does that happen?)

It seems sort of appropriate that PBS started running a multi-part documentary about the circus the day after election day. I got totally sucked in for two hours of couch time. I gave up all hopes of cleaning, doing homework and being productive and just sat and watched as these people with incredible talents and difficult lives put together a show that makes everyone in the audience forget their problems for a little while. I've never been a big fan of the circus, what with all the elephant and lion mistreatment and all, but this circus used only horses and dogs. And people. And the people were definitely working harder than the animals, so I was ok with it.

In case you also want to be a big dorky PBS viewer like me, check it out here.

In other news, I've been glued to my computer for weeks as the election drew near. I felt guilty because I opted to skip knocking on doors and being a poll greeter for my local candidates this year. Had they lost, my guilt would have weighed on me for a lifetime. Or a week. But hey, I got shit to do, man. I got a boy moving into my house (our house) in 3 weekends.

Holy shit. My stomach just turned as I wrote that.

Anyway, I walked to my polling place on Tuesday, and was filled with the pride that can only come by feeling superior to everyone who drove to the polls. I voted for cap and trade, carbon regulation and big government spending. The least I could do was reduce my weekly carbon output by .0000000001%. I chatted with friends, and stopped at a new locally owned coffee shop on my jaunt home (more superiority from the pride of supporting local businesses). Then my mom called.

She called for several reasons, but mostly to tell me she wasn't voting this year and to list all the reasons she wasn't. Like it was my fault that the candidates exhausted her with their negative ads and rhetoric. She said she didn't know who was running, and they all seemed like assholes and why should she bother. I tried to explain the Citizens United case to her, and convince her that the elections were being bought by corporations and outside interests and that it was her duty to vote. She said it didn't matter who she voted for - things for her were always the same. I wished I could have convinced her differently, but when that woman makes up her mind she can't be swayed.

There is a purpose in me telling you this story, and its this: it was my mother who instilled in me the importance of voting, and now she's given up. I am so disappointed, in her of course, but in the society that has caused this woman to give up. I couldn't really argue with her because she was right. The candidates were largely acting like assholes, and some actually were (are). And I couldn't come up with any argument for her: her life has largely been the same no matter who was in the Oval office, the Senate, or in the Statehouse.

Her total change in course, and apathy, and thinly veiled anger shook me, and confused me.
The fact that I couldn't come up with a piece of legislation or program that had really helped her gave me pause. I hadn't been at such loss for words in a really long time. Its amazing how a few words and opinions from my mother can have such an impact my attitude towards politicians.

Now you know where my attitude on men came from.

1 comment:

Mike said...

Only 48% of registered voters in your state actually voted in this midterm election. Awful!

Don't blame me...I voted! Your mom needs to vote.