Here’s a Ballot, Now What?

Originally today’s blog was going to be a random rant of whatever happened to be on my mind. Just like any other time a writer starts, they change their direction entirely. I became so passionate about one of my rants, that I decided to dedicate today to that instead.

Tomorrow is election day. I’m not going to give a speech about “people died for us to have this right”. I don’t believe in guilting people into voting. I don’t even believe in it myself. People didn’t die for the right for politicians to lie to us and make us overpay them. I’d like politicians to make minimum wage and not getting paid when they aren’t working like the rest of us. I’d also love them to be stuck with the same crappy choices for healthcare that the American people get. Maybe if we take away the riches and benefits, we’d get people in office that actually care about the people they’re sent to represent. I’d also like it if every law they pass also affected them. Then maybe they’d consider what they are passing before they decide to take the bribes to pass it. Also, I’d like to make it that people had to pass a general current event and civics test before they get to vote. It may be unconstitutional, but at least people who will vote have a general idea of what they are voting for and not race, party affiliation and good looks. I’m also offended that the old guy from Face the Nation (he doesn’t deserve a name, don’t bother telling me) for his commentary. Thankfully you can get access to transcripts online so I don’t misquote him:

“And here’s a confession. Sometimes voting against someone I don’t like is more fun than voting for someone I do like.And here’s the best thing of all. You can vote for or against someone for the best of reasons, the wrong reasons, or no reason at all. It is your vote, and you can do with it as you choose. In fact, you can waste it if you like.”

Really? Not that anyone probably takes his show anymore seriously than they do Fox & Friends, but he has the power of the masses. And he uses it for that? He could inspire people to make a change in the political times! He could tell the viewers, “listen, we need to vote on the issues not the person” or “you need to vote for someone who shares your same view of the country and how you want it to grow”. No, he says “waste your vote if you’d like, just do it”. He could’ve easily had said in one sentence “vote for Batman for president because Superman is from another planet and isn’t technically eligible for presidency”. This actually disgusted me. This disgusted me almost as much as most politicians do.

Growing up, I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I was also smart enough to realize that writers are starving artists and you needed a job to fund the dream. For a long time, I decided journalism would be the way to go. I started writing for my middle school newspaper and I hit a moment of realization: I was far to opinionated to be a real journalist. I could be an Op-Ed columnist, and did well with that. The teacher was proud of me when I went to her and said “it would be against journalistic integrity for me to write news, I can’t do it without being biased”. Shortly after, I decided journalism probably wasn’t the right place for me because it went against my morals. Watching news today makes me wonder what makes me different from every other person that decides to actually go ahead with that career path but instead of reporting news, they report their own version of the news. It really does sicken me. There should be a political party named “The Cynic Party”, I would jump the Democrat label for that.

The point is that these people (Fox News, Face the Nation, etc.) all are able to reach people and inspire them for good. They could tell people that issues are more important than white dry erase boards and half facts. They could actually give the viewers a full story, the true full honest story, so when we go into that poll booth we can make informed decisions that suit us and our visions for our ideal country. Instead, they tell us “this guy’s a Kenyan Muslim” and “this guy is a corrupt Mormon business man” or “does it really matter, just close your eyes and make your pencil mark anywhere”. Now we get to go blind into an election and pray we come out in one piece. I’m not sure who’s more to blame for this, the politicians or our “newscasters”.

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