Is anyone other than me watching the political circus we have going on in this country with such interest? I have always been very political minded and very interested in all of it, but it seems that this major election has been extrememly surprising and hard to predict the outcome, unlike so many others I have been a witness to. I have listened to many of the television "experts" come up wrong time and again when trying to predict the winner of each primary election. And it makes me smile. So many are so sure of themselves, and so sure of their political parties, only to find that the human beings they think are so predictable, aren't.
I don't believe in discussing politics among friends, much like my feelings about religion, both tend to leave a person friendless. The whole freedom of religion, freedom to choose our leaders is what this country was founded on, you shouldn't have to explain your reasons any more than I should. If you believe in God, that works for me,...if you are a democrat or republican is not my business, just like your business is not how I vote.
I weigh what's important to me against the options available, politically. Frequently, the choices available don't leave me much room for choice, and more than once, I have found my vote to be uninspired and done only by a sense of responsibility, as for me - the choices are bad or worse.
This year, this election - if nothing else, I am surprised by the amount of passion many folks feel about the candidates, and I am encouraged by the number of young people being involved. I don't care who the youngest generation votes for, I am just happy that finally, they care. I am not interested in ambivalence, I don't want to hear the excuses that I have heard over the years - "why should I vote, voting has nothing to do with the process, really", or my personal favorite, "it's only one vote, it couldn't really make a difference". I am talking about many, many young people here - my own adult children included. You can believe that my kids were not raised that way, I have been rather Hitler-like in drilling into their heads that "yes, it is only one vote. But one vote can change the course of history, and it's not just their right, it's their OBLIGATION to mark their x, or pull the lever. Period." And still, no real feelings involved, and they have not voted sometimes, and I have let them know that I was disappointed in their lack of interest in the one thing that this country has been mighty enough to hold onto...the right to choose their leaders. I have never cared WHO they voted for, that is entirely their business, only that they vote. But I have noticed, with pride actually, that mine are coming around, forming opinions, getting the fact that if THEY don't stand up and be counted then there is no room for complaints, and in the past election, they voted. And they let me know they did. And I felt proud - that perhaps they have heard what I have had to say over the years.
But I also notice a trend, not just in my own, but in young people everywhere. They are tired of the status quo, they are tired of the older generations running the show. And they should be - because this country belongs to the young. I have had fear recently that the future of this country was in for drastic changes, merely due to the lack of interest in the young. But I am beginning to think that we may be saved, that the youngest generation is finally understanding that the work is up to them. And that makes me happy. :)