Happy election day! Or, if you live in a swing state, I’m sorry about the last year, but it’ll soon be over.
I actually enjoy discussing politics. The key word is discuss, not argue. And that’s exactly why I hate election season (that and it lasts about 12 months too long). Despite my distaste for no-nothing pundits and mindless party drones, I voted today. I stayed awake an extra hour after work to vote at 6 am when the polls opened a block away from my apartment.I just wanted to avoid long lines in the afternoon.
This year I was reminded of how fortunate I’ve been on election days past. I was a few days too young to vote during the Clinton-Dole election, so my first election wasn’t until I was in college. And during that 2000 election, I was studying in London. The madness of seeing multiple newspaper editions throughout the day “declaring” a winner and more or less calling Americans fools for the flawed process, was humorous and frustrating. But at least I didn’t have to suffer through the campaigns .
In 2004, I was unfortunately living in the swing state of Colorado–in the ultra-liberal town of Boulder. I was constantly called by volunteers for the Kerry campaign. They called so often that I threatened to not vote at all if they ever called me again.
In 2008, I was again in another country. I saw very little election news on the two English Hong Kong channels that we got in Shenzhen. I read a little of the news online, but was more interested in local news.
My students were fascinated by the democratic process, and I summed it up for them. “In China, you don’t choose your leaders, and you don’t like them because they don’t actually serve your interests. In America, we have a choice between two people who we don’t like and won’t serve our interests. China just has the processed streamlined.” That was more or less what I said anyway. I may have called all the leaders in both countries idiots.
This year, even though I don’t live in a swing state, I am sick of politics. During the conventions and debates that I refused to watch, I had to shut off social media and block out news–it was actually making me sick.
While I don’t usually tell people who to vote for, I should remind everyone who hasn’t already voted that the best use of your vote is for interstellar domination. By that, I mean you should vote for The Simpsons alien, Kodos. All hail President Kodos! Or you could vote for Kang; same thing.