Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I Support Today Being Over

It's not that I'm essentially tired of talking about issues that are affecting our local, state and country governments, but I'm really glad that today is the end of the campaign season. While some news outlets are calling this year's campaign relatively low key and reasonably cordial, I guess I've just reached the overload point and just want it to be done.
I supported vote by mail because it allows someone like me to actually do research and learn more about the candidates and issues on my own time, and for that, I love the flexibility offered by this. While I'm old enough to remember having to go to the polling locations to vote a few years back, I've adjusted to now having this opportunity to exercise the democratic process in my own way. I've even taken to reading the voter's guide that is published each election to get an idea of where people stand on the issues, because it's one of the few places you can actually hear from the candidate that doesn't seem to be influenced or edited.
I understand that politics is serious business now, and as such, they are run as efficient propaganda machines trying to maximize exposure and information as quickly and seamlessly as possible. It's a tough business in the information age to try and get people's attention to talk about stimulating topics like budget reform and job creation, so many outfits use the tactics of pointing out the flaws of the other side. It's far easier to point out why the other guy or girl can't do the job than highlight the things that me, mr. candidate, could actually put out there. And when you have 30 second sound bites to draw attention, nothing works quicker than taking a comment out of context and warping it to fit the right need. I'm so tired of hearing "My name is so and so, and I approve this ad" because everything just sounds the same now.
Outside of a few candidates that mean well, I haven't really heard anyone talking about real issues or real solutions, but rather how inept or clueless the other side is about things. And everyone is talking about saving Social Security from the bad guys or creating jobs, but there isn't much more specific than we need more jobs and investment bankers are bad. I consider myself a rather intelligent person by nature, and I can usually tune out the catcalls, but this year has been especially horrible in my opinion.
Then again, with the political machine working overdrive, even the most innocent or forthright comments can be easily skewed by skilled tacticians who can cast doubt on just about anything. I can understand some folks being hesitant on speaking out on things in fear of their words coming back to bite them, but then again, saying nothing doesn't help voters make any choices. I mean, really, are we voting on a turd sandwich or giant douche here?
I get that most folks running genuinely mean well and are just trying to make a difference in their own way, whether it's helping others, sharing their talents, or the sense of satisfaction at accomplishing something. But that simple fact doesn't change the fact that our process right now rewards bland sound bites and massive amounts of money targeted at things more than actually talking about the facts. I wish it wasn't that simple, but that's the reality of things.
But me not voting just means that the influences win, and I'd rather take the time to actually muddle through the mess in my own way and try to make the best decision that sit idly by and not cast a vote. I may find the distaste of advertisements ingratiating, but sitting on the sidelines to me is more of a problem. I don't necessarily care which side of the issues you all are on, but it's important to cast a vote to make sure your voice is heard. And tomorrow, we can go back to the somewhat more normalcy of our lives.
And congrats to the Giants for winning the World Series last night. Incredibly epic series, and if the pundits had their way, they would have given the Rangers the trophy before things got started. That's why you play the games, and the Giants had everything go their way all series. Well, and their ball park is pretty impressive as well. Hey, at least the Yankees didn't win, and with that, I approve this message on the grounds that they suck.