Being born in 1971 has allowed me to grow with the decades. My childhood was in the ’70s, I spent my teenage angst in the ’80s, and the ’90s was the time of becoming a young adult.
One of the things that comes with being a young adult is the right to vote in our country’s elections. So in 1992 I voted for the first time.
I remember being very excited about it, and I also remember everyone I voted for won in that election, so I’m sure that helped the excitement, it was like I was part of deciding things that were important, or at least chosing the people who would decide such important things.
I also remember that before I voted, Bill Clinton had really captured the dreamer in me with his speech at the 1992 Democratic Convention which ended with Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop”.
My decision to vote for Bill Clinton was not a simple one though, part of me wanted to vote for Ross Perot because I did feel then as I still do now, the 2 parties need to be shaken up and could use a loss to an independent, but Ross was crazy and I was not “throwing away my vote”. LOL, that’s somewhat funny to me, because really, voting democrat or republican is throwing away your vote from how I started to look at things.
I also didn’t want to vote for Clinton because his running mate Al Gore had a wife that I really did not like. Tipper Gore had been part of the group “Washington Wives” which later became The PMRC and their goal was to end what they thought was “devil music”. Anyone from the ’80s probably remembers the PMRC and how they promoted censorship and eventually got the “Parent Advisory” sticker on all the good music.
Plus and again this may shock some of my readers, but up until that first vote, I had considered myself a republican of sorts. This had a lot to do with my love for the show Family Ties and my connection to the Alex P. Keaton character… but also had to do with Ronald Reagan who seemed like a super hero to my younger self. He was shot on TV and not only survived, but walked right into the hospital as if he didn’t even realize he was shot. He also ended the cold war and the threat of nuclear annihilation that hung over us for so long. But it was way back when he helped in the release of the hostages in Iran that probably really made me think of Reagan as a hero. That was the first thing in life I remember scaring me to my core… watching the news count the days of the hostages was a very scary thing for my younger self. So when the hostages came home and the nightly countdown on the news ended, there was relief for this scared 3rd grader.
I also believed that republicans stood for less government involvement in our lives as they constantly say. Man to be young and foolish again.
Anyways (does anyone ever get tired of my over use of this word? I’m truly sorry, I don’t like it either, but I do carry on and sometimes “anyways” is the only thing that can get me back on topic…) anyways… my first vote would go to Clinton and the democrats and I stand by it, I still say he was one of the best presidents in my lifetime, I put him right up there with that cowboy super hero.
Four years later I did not vote. It had to do with work as well as I don’t think I got registered in time. I felt like I was doing something wrong, but it all worked out, Bill Clinton remained our president and I was fine with that.
Four years after that and we come to a another election. At the time I still held fears of someone like Tipper as our first lady, I did not want censorship to ever get as bad as her and her group of bored housewives had let it get in the ’80s. But the alternative, the son of George Bush (a president I helped elect out), just seemed like a unsure bet to me. I spent time really looking at Al Gore and started to like him more and more. He had become less robotic over his 8 years as vice president and I even thought his wife might have learned her lesson about trying to censor things just because you don’t like or agree with them. I started to look at Gore as our next president and liked where I thought he might take our country. Towards a more responsible, more caring, and yes a more green America.
But we all know that didn’t happen. I remember going to bed that night not sure who our next president was, and then waking up very disappointed the next morning. And it wasn’t just because Al won the popular vote but still lost because of some electoral vote I didn’t understand, I was disappointed because it wasn’t what I voted for, and it seemed my vote did not matter contrary to what I had been told all my life. Yes, bottom line, I was upset cause the person I voted for didn’t win.
We could get into how bad some of us thought it was with W Bush being our leader in command for the next 8 years or all the funny and sometimes hilarious moments with W in the white house but instead I’ll just point out the W connection. From Bush to Windsor and even The Drifter, one of these guys is responsible for carving their initials into the foreheads of those Zombies (sorry I know some of you are not caught up with The Walking Dead, but I’ve been holding on to that one for way too long, lol).
By the time another four years came around we had endured 911 and were involved in another war in Iraq (like father like son). I knew no matter who I voted for, Bush would win, even though everyone was screaming to vote him out.
NOFX had an album: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_War_on_Errorism
Eminem had a video: https://youtu.be/NqPHAeqMvI8
It seemed everyone was tired of Bush and wanted to correct the error done 4 years earlier. But I knew deep down inside, Bush would remain to finish what he had started.
I realized then my vote really wouldn’t matter so why bother. Bush would remain our president, yes, deep, deep down I knew this. Besides, Bush made me laugh. Even Ford who could barely walk did not provide the kind of comic relief George W. Bush did. I miss him, really I do.
So four years later and I bet some of you might think I would have voted for the first black president.
Nope. And I was pretty sure he would be elected, I just knew by this point that it didn’t matter who was our president. Plus I figured our first black president would be tarnished by politics no matter what the next four years involved. Though I have to admit, when Sarah Palin was added to the republican ticket, I almost voted, just so I could say I did my part in getting her out of politics (still part of me thought she’d be a very good replacement for W Bush and would continue the comic relief in the White House).
Over those next four years I saw I was right and kind of stopped caring about the whole political game. As I saw it, the election had become a big football game to us, the super bowl. And each side was only worried about winning the next big game. I mean think about it, why would anyone on the right side of things (and that’s right opposite of left, not right opposite of wrong, I know some people get confused about that) want to do anything that made our president look good if they want him to lose the next election. So we have what politics has become, making the other side look as bad as possible so that our side can win the next big game in four years. And which side wins doesn’t really matter. Since both sides will be trying for the next win. I mean think about it, why would we expect anything to get done in a system like that. It may have worked at one time, but now it’s just sabotage and hate talk so we can win the next big super bowl of politics!
It should come as no surprise that four years later I also did not vote. Really, what’s the point?
So here we are, four years later, coming up on the next big presidential election. Do I still feel the same way? Yep. No matter who wins, the other side will do everything in its power to make sure they do not win again in four years.
Does this mean I will not vote once again? I’m not so sure on that question. Mainly because of this blog and the fact that I can make my third voting participation into a learning experience here. But also because I still have hope that things could change and that maybe, just maybe, if we get the right people in there and demand things get done, maybe they will.
If not, in four years we can wear our teams colors and do it all over again…
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”
I’ve heard that a few times before. It seems relevant here.