I’m the big asshole. I didn’t vote. You read that clearly. I did not vote. It wasn’t intentional, between moving from LA back to Sacramento and then across the country to start a new job, I just had more important things to me in my personal life. Between getting things situated for me to be removed from my business without it falling apart and spending what little time I had to spare with my friends and family before I moved to NYC, registering to vote and getting my absentee ballot just slipped my mind along with countless other things that probably should have been done before moving.
However, it opened my eyes to a lot of things that I normally don’t pay much attention to. Voting is our right and for the most part, it’s pretty awesome that we have the opportunity. Unless of course you are from Florida, then who knows if your vote will actually ever be counted. I noticed a few things about the mentality of Americans when it comes to voting.
For most people, you have the right to vote but if you simply choose not to, you’re in the wrong. And of course, if you’re not voting for the same party or person as the majority in your workplace, you’re also in the wrong. I imagine it’s quite a sticky situation for a republican in an office filled with democrats. I would also imagine that there are tons of discrimination lawsuits because of it. It’s also quite interesting to know that the legal two hours or whatever it is that someone gets off from work to vote, is not available for someone who chooses not to vote. I would argue that not voting is a vote. Just because someone doesn’t vote doesn’t mean that the lack of vote isn’t a valuable input into determining the next leader of our country, especially when the country is so equally divided the way it is today. If any voters should be criticized, how about the nearly 40,000 Californians that voted for Roseanne Barr?
I’ve always thought about the saying, “If you don’t vote, you can’t complain.” It’s probably the single most frustrating thing about politics to me. The phrase is ignorant. Voting doesn’t give you the right to complain. If that’s what you’re about, move to Antarctica.
This election was no different in that the same phrase popped up in a lot of places on the Internet. One of my friends, the day after the election, posted a quote on her Facebook page that reminded me of why some of our country’s heroes still remain heroes today.
If the election didn’t go the way you wanted it to, here’s a little morsel for thought about bipartisanship from days of yore:
When JFK was elected in 1960, even mega-uber Republican John Wayne said “I didn’t vote for him, but he’s my president, and I hope he does a good job.”
This is what being an American should be. Not what both parties have made it out to be today with the he said she said. Ironically, the only person to reply to this post responded with “JFK broke the mold and there no one remotely like him today in the democratic party”
Now if you can’t tell the level of intelligence by the broken English of this caucasian male, consider that he is absolutely correct that JFK broke the mold. But JFK broke the mold after being in office, or at least that’s when his beliefs were truly realized. Not right after the election when John Wayne made his statement.
This is a perfect example of how screwed up our thinking is right now in the country. Don’t think before we make a statement, defend our beliefs purely on the fact that the other person is of a different party. For God’s sake people, that’s like reliving the ’40s and ’50s! Assumptions about people because of their political party are no less ignorant than blatant racism.
However, since I didn’t vote, I am going to take a new approach to political views for the next four years. I’m going to do my best to support whoever is representing me on all levels of government and quit bitching about it. Our country didn’t become great from being a bunch of hypocritical whiners, so why have we all accepted that as our persona?
From now on I won’t be that. Not because it’s my right, or my punishment for not voting. But because to me, being an American is making the best of the situations and building a creative, entrepreneurial future for yourself and for others around you. I’ve been doing my best to do that over the last few years and regardless of the political system, I am going to do it for the next four years and beyond.