Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Vetting Out the Vote 

In the middle of casting my vote for local government offices today I realized that I mostly vote against individuals instead of for their opponents. Unfortunately, I guess I look at it as choosing between the lesser of two evils. Perhaps it's the era I grew up in with its preponderance of negative campaigns and their constant airing of dirty laundry. It always seems that by the time it comes to Election Day, I end up disliking everybody who's running, and voting for whoever I find less distasteful.

But at least I do vote.

I have never been fully comfortable with this responsibility, but I try to take it seriously. I read the voters guides, I show up, I push the buttons. I accept the consequences.

Yet, I am still a little uncomfortable with voting. Part of it has to do with my penchant towards seeing both sides of things and therefore never being able to come clean as a staunch Democrat or a staunch Republican. In the end I vote for (or rather, against) people, not parties. Something many martinet party members would positively gasp at. Sorry.

I've always harbored an inclination towards becoming politically involved in some way, but when I see the messes that so many politicians get themselves into, the very idea of being under that kind of public scrutiny scares the crap out of me. I think it takes a very brave person to put him or herself into that position in the first place -- to take a stand, to (ostensibly) want to make the world a better place.

And that's why I will continue to vote. Democracy in action.
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