We live in polarizing times.
Has any generation not thought this?
Once you turn 30 you start to have “these kids and their…” moments. These kids and their Justin Beiber, awful cartoons, and 1,000-word per minute texting abilities. We look back on the days when we were young and our tastes were refined and we all got along. Of course, the generation ahead of us looked back and thought “these kids and their…” too.
The Red state Blue State divide. What’s the matter with Kansas? Obamacare vs. Death Panels. Muncie, my hometown, is no different. The Democratic party in town split. When the Democrat running for Governor of Indiana visited Muncie, he had to make two stops, one at the Democrat HQ and one at a local bar where the other group met (now that’s a political party I can support!). Our 2004 Mayoral election was so close that there was a recount and it was essentially decided by a grand jury. On the ballot today Muncie and Delaware county citizens can vote to have our elected officials replaced by a 14-person elected board. See you later Mayor! See you later county commissioners and city council members! Folks are so sick of the divisions — democrat vs. republican, city vs. county — that they want to do away with the structure altogether.
That’s sad. Why can’t we just all get along?
The other day I was speaking at a college and someone asked me if I ever thought about running for office. My answer was basically “uhh…Hell to the No.” But I’m glad that people do. Sometimes I think it’s for selfish reasons and sometimes I think it’s for selfless ones.
Kurt Vonnegut has a great quote about running for president that could likely be applied to running for most public offices “There is a tragic flaw in our precious Constitution, and I don’t know what can be done to fix it. This is it: Only nut cases want to be president.”
Regardless if they are nut cases or not. They are our nut cases and we have to vote with them and live with the results.
Seth Godin had a recent blog post on voter apathy from a marketer’s perspective:
If you don’t vote because you’re disappointed with your choices, disgusted by tactics like lying and spin, or merely turned off by the process, you’ve opted out of the marketplace.
The goal of political marketers isn’t to get you to vote. Their goal is to get more votes than the other guy. So they obsess about pleasing those that vote. Everyone else is invisible.
Politics…it’s not going away. Yes, there’s too much money in politics. You can’t tell me that my one vote is worth as much as some billionaire’s one vote plus multi-million dollar Super-PAC donation. Anyone else see that crazy German guy with the ad about socialism? He took out his own ad! Eventually the Citizens United Supreme Court decision that allowed limitless funds in politics, will be overturned, but for now crazy rich dudes can exert their craziness by opening their checkbooks.
Democracy is a work-in-progress and sometimes it needs a little more work than others. There is no such thing as a post-political world. Don’t close your eyes and put your fingers in your ears. Vote.
Today, 100% of us will be reminded that ~50% of the nation disagrees with us. That’s okay. The diversity of our nation is what makes us strong.
When Harper gets back from school today, I’m taking her with me to vote. It will be the second time we’ve walked into the booth together. I remember Mom doing the same thing with me. Like medicine, democracy must be practiced. It must be learned. It must be passed down from parent to child.
If you don’t vote today, you should be embarrassed.