If you ask any of my friends, I avoid political discussions. I have this absolute hatred of two party politics because I don’t feel that anything in this life is black OR white – most things are varying shades of gray. Labeling a set group of beliefs Republican and another set group of beliefs Democrat has a tendency to make people sign on the line for a party, not actually think about issues. I truly believe that. “Well, I’m pro-choice so I must be a liberal. I guess that means I don’t have to really worry about decision X, Y, Z because the party will pick a stance for me.”
Is this everyone? Clearly not, but America is nothing if not lazy. I do not like all encompassing umbrellas that stifle an individual’s thought process.
I’m willing to talk politics for a moment simply because I feel something on the air I haven’t felt in a long time: energy. There’s this vibe in a room when people are watching DNC coverage, CNN, the local news. People actually give a shit – this election matters. Some would argue that every election matters, but I didn’t get the sense of urgency for change when Dole was running, or even Gore. Everyone was pissed off about Bush’s first election because of the Florida bit, but until that point I didn’t get a glimmer of the political pulse I’m feeling now.
I think it’s wonderful.
In years past if I didn’t like either candidate, I wouldn’t vote simply because it didn’t seem worth it to me. I mean, honestly, I live in a liberal state that continues to elect Republican governor’s (WTF) and Massachusetts typically ends left on presidential elections in great part thanks to Kennedy. It has always seemed like my electoral college vote was pre-determined before I even went to the polls. Shitty attitude, I know, but probably a lot more predominant than anyone would like to admit. As I mature, I’m realizing how disasterous that approach IS to the country, and I’m hoping other people are realizing it too. I want this energy to wake people up so they can understand that we are responsible for what happens going forward, not a party, not even a candidate really. Us. Little ol’ us.
If anything good came out of the Obama/Hillary flabber-fest, I’m thinking its that Hillary lit a fire under the asses of people who didn’t feel the urgency to vote before: women. Statistics (yes I know statistics are only as good as the person reporting them makes them, but you know) say that females are failing hardcore at going to polls. I think seeing that a woman COULD get into office, a woman could be positioned as the leader of one of the strongest countries in the world did something. I think it sparked this energy. Seeing a bunch of mini-van driving moms sitting around a television in the break room at Comcast, glued to the DNC like kittens suckling at a teat? It’s frankly bizarre, but also a really good feeling. I don’t know how many of those ladies went to the polls before, but I’m betting a bunch of them were like me – apathetic to the point of not participating in our most important American right.
I’m sure there are a lot more things to this energy than just the Hillary Clinton factor, but it’s the most obvious one. For all that Im not keen on the lady in question, I’m REAL keen on the political awareness surrounding me. I like seeing people’s wheels turning. I hope every election is this charged going forward. I sense good things are a’comin’.