Okay, we all know there is an election tomorrow. And some people have even voted early. And most everyone already knows who they’re voting for, but I have a few election-related gripes I have to get off my chest.
Pet peeve #1: Team Mentality
It’s great that people want to show support for “their” candidate. But it drives me insane when it gets into “favorite” territory. I know I’ve made this argument before, but I liken it to baseball. People are Cubs fans or their Cardinals fans (or White Sox or Phillies or whatever) so they show their team spirit by wearing hats and hanging banners and attending games.
People do the same thing with politics. They decide who their favorite candidate is and they show support by adding them on social networking sites, or emailing updates to friends. I think it’s great that political organizations are using these “alternative” methods to get out the vote. The more people who participate in the process the better, but only if you actually *do* something about it. This is an election. It’s not American Idol, it’s not Edward vs. Jacob. It’s serious. So, unless people actually get out and vote, these “fun” things are all for nothing.
This becomes especially problematic when combined with some of the other Pet Peeves.
Pet Peeve #2: Uninformed voters
NOTHING irks me more than an uninformed voter. It makes my skin crawl when someone tells me that they don’t really know anything about a candidate’s positions, but they’re a big “fan” anyway. I also can’t stand when I hear people just blindly regurgitating something they’ve heard someone else say.
We all know that I support Obama. I agree with him on the issues that matter most to me and I think he can help move this country in the right direction. But I would SO MUCH rather hear that someone voted for McCain because they believed in him and his ideals than voted for Obama ‘cuz it’s the “trendy” thing to do.
I think it’s great that we might have record voter turnout this year… but I’d like to think that people at least have an INKLING of what they’re voting for.
Pet Peeve #3: The Polls
I know we’ll never be free of polling data. And I’ve seen enough episodes of The West Wing to know that it really can be an exceptionally accurate prediction of voter behavior. But it still bothers me that the media is reporting the results as if the election has already happened and all the votes have been counted. Granted, there are some foregone conclusions here: Illinois is a blue state. In a sense, my vote for Obama counts less than the same vote in Ohio. But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t vote. I’m afraid all the coverage of the polls is discouraging certain voters and encouraging others.
If you’re registered to vote… DON’T stay home tomorrow. There are important state and local elections on the ballot. And the popular vote still matters, even if you don’t live in a swing state.
Pet Peeve #4: The mud-slinging hatefulness from *everyone*
Like anything else important, elections seem to bring out the best and worst in people. It’s inspiring to see so many people interested in the political process and supporting the candidate of their choice. But it’s equally discouraging to see people attack one another for their views.
Obama is not a terrorist… he’s not even a socialist. McCain is not the devil incarnate, looking to destroy this country with his war mongering, house-buying ways. But the way that these two men have been vilified in the press is just UGLY. And then I see people extend this hatefulness to other people and it gets uglier.
We should be able to agree to disagree. Just because I identify as Democrat doesn’t mean I don’t like and respect Republicans. I can understand why some people believe the things they do… even if I don’t agree with them. I admire people who have the conviction in their beliefs to get out there and participate in the process, so don’t begrudge them the ability to speak their minds.
So, please… Regardless of how this election turns out, remember to respect your fellow Americans.
Anyway, this is a bit of a rambling post, but that’s all I have to say about that… for now!