Tag Archives: America

I don’t vote

I was stopped at the post office today, just passing through on a quick run to drop off a few packages for my LuLaRoe business, by a guy outside asking people to update their voter registration. In a bit of a hurry, I kindly and quickly said “no thanks, I don’t vote” and continued walking. Apparently he wasn’t satisfied with that response, because he replied with “what about the 19th amendment?” To which I answered “I don’t like my choices” and walked inside. When I reemerged from the building on my way back through the parking lot to my car, he said to me “well what about all the local elections, the judges and the school board and all the people responsible for teaching your children?” (this guy was clearly not giving up). I firmly replied that I teach children, so I’m going to focus on that. I did tell him that I appreciated him asking, but I feel like his persistence just brings up a very good point that I believe I’m not alone in feeling. Or maybe I am and I’m the only person that has it wrong, but either way, it’s my prerogative and it’s my basic human right as an American citizen to vote or not vote. It isn’t anybody else’s choice to make but mine.

I’m sure there’ll be plenty of people reading this who follow politics on the daily and vote every time there’s an election, whether it’s local, state or federal government, but I’m just not one of those people. And I really don’t care who has a problem with it or not, because again, it’s my decision to make as an individual living in this country. It’s my freedom to choose whether or not I want to vote.

I also want to point out that I’m not one of those people who refuses to vote and then, when people are elected that I don’t agree with, sits there and complains about it. No, I realize that if I’m giving up my right to vote, I’m also giving up my right to complain about who wins. I’m not that much of an asshole.

Up until this point in my adult life, in the years since I’ve turned 18 and have been eligible to vote, I have not agreed with any of the choices for president. This is only the third presidential election that I have been of age for. The first two were obviously when Obama was elected and reelected; both times I did not agree with his win, and both times I also did not like the opposing candidate. So for me, voting for one guy because I don’t want the other guy to win, even if the guy I’m voting for isn’t someone I  want to win either, really doesn’t make sense to me. Sure, maybe voting for the lesser of two evils is the right thing to do, maybe it’s not. All I know is that until I am presented with at least one option that I truly feel confident about voting in to office, I’m not going to participate. It’s just not a good use of my time. And as a very busy middle school teacher, I can’t afford to waste any time on things that I don’t agree with.

For example, where the upcoming presidential election is concerned, I think Donald Trump is a buffoon and I certainly don’t want him running our country, but does that mean that Hillary Clinton deserves my vote? Probably not, and that’s why I’m not voting. I’m simply not satisfied giving my vote to either candidate.

That being said, I understand the point this nice gentleman is trying to make about how I should still participate in local and state government. However, again, I am a very busy schoolteacher who also runs a business of her own on the side, so between all of that, and all of the things that actually pertain to my day-to-day life and responsibilities, taking the time out of my busy life to vote for people that, again, I don’t really know that much about, really just doesn’t seem to make sense to me. In my opinion, and again, this is all my opinion which, by definition, cannot be wrong, so please don’t tell me that I’m wrong in saying any of this (especially considering the whole “freedom of speech” thing). I’m a language arts teacher, I know what opinion is versus fact. Everything that I’m saying right now is opinion, not a fact, you can’t prove it right or wrong, it’s simply how I feel, and you’re allowed to feel differently, that’s why they’re called opinions.

Anyway, now that I’m done ranting about opinions versus fact, my opinion is that my one vote is not going to make enough of a difference in the long run. In the grand scheme of things, whoever I could possibly vote for in the local and state government is probably not going to make a difference to the point where my vote is necessary. I realize that sounds pessimistic and ignorant, because if everyone had this attitude and everyone said “oh, my vote doesn’t count it’s really not gonna matter whether I vote or not” then nobody would vote and then change really wouldn’t be able to occur. I already get that. But all I know is that, at the end of the day, I’m a teacher, I’m teaching kids and I’m making a difference and impacting the world on a smaller level. I’m causing change to occur on a smaller level, and that is the most that I can contribute to society.

I also refuse to vote blindly just for the sake of voting. If I don’t know who I’m voting for, or I’m uneducated about the candidates, I would rather not vote than vote blindly just for the sake of putting in my two cents. And honestly, between working 40+ hours a week and trying to have some time for my friends and family on top of all that (because I need to have a life and not lose my mind), I don’t have the time to dedicate to educating myself about the candidates. There are so many people running for so many things I wouldn’t even know where to begin. I see signs every day when I’m driving around, re-elect this person or elect that person for a slew of miscellaneous titles that I’ve never even heard of. So, because I’m uneducated about who they even are, let alone what they’re running for, I elect to not vote blindly. And I’m sorry, but I’m also not going to take time out of my very busy schedule to educate myself on people that, honestly, don’t affect my day-to-day life. I don’t really feel the impact of what they do, and maybe one day I will, and maybe that’s the day that I will change my outlook and I will actually care about voting, but until that day comes, I’m going to focus my energy on the things that matter to me and the people in my life directly. For me, to have the biggest impact on my life and the lives of people around me, I need to be a little selfish in that respect and focus on what I’m doing and how I’m trying to make a difference in this world and for me that means teaching my sixth graders about how to be good people and showing them by example how to live a good life and be moral and have ethics and hopefully one day they will be able to go out into the world and they will be able to create change in whatever way they see fit.

Whenever the topic of politics comes up, especially in regards to people (seemingly) being ignorant and not voting, there’s always going to be controversy, there are always going to be people who don’t agree, and there are always going to be people who want to argue and say that you’re wrong. You can tell me I’m wrong all you want, it’s still not going to change how I think and how I live my life.

I will also say that I appreciate the people who do pay attention to this nonsense, because those are the people who are voting and hopefully putting into office people that deserve to be there. Maybe one day my priorities will change as I get older and I will actually care about this stuff and pay attention more, but until that day comes, I’m happy with how I live my life, even if others think I’m living in a bubble (because it’s a damn awesome bubble). I really couldn’t care less about voting at this point in my life, so thank you sir for offering to update my voter registration card, but I’ll take a hard pass.

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5 things I’m (actually) thankful for this holiday season

Despite all my snark and cynicism during most of the year, I can actually have a serious side (I know, shocking). It usually comes out about this time of year, around the holidays, when I’m reminded how good I have it and how lucky I am to be living the life I live. So, in all seriousness (well, mostly), here are five things I’m thankful for this holiday season.

IMG_0609Family & friends. First and foremost. Basically anyone in my life who loves me unconditionally and would have my back no matter what. You know who you are. Without you guys, life would be a lonely place and probably not worth living. Just sayin’.

Freedom. The American government may have its head so far up its own ass that it’s lost sight of daylight but that doesn’t change the fact that I live in a (mostly) free country. I may complain about things I disagree with and liberties I don’t feel I actually possess but compared to what citizens of other countries deal with on a daily basis, I have it pretty great as an American. So, while I may hold a strong dislike towards our current president and the policies he may or may not have implemented, I’m glad I live in the good ol’ U.S. of A.

Hot food. Especially today, when no one wants to eat cold turkey, I’m very thankful that I have access to hot food (or food in general) on a daily basis. I know it’s probably not likely, but I hope everyone has a chance to enjoy at least one meal today.

IMG_0702Felix the cat. Some people may think it a bit silly to put a pet on your list of things you’re thankful for, but those are the type of people I wouldn’t be friends with anyway, so it doesn’t matter. Felix has become such a regular in my everyday life (well she should be, considering she lives with me) and I sometimes take her for granted. I know she won’t live forever (and some days I don’t want her to) but she and I have been through a lot together (see: cross-country road trip) and I love her.

Indoor plumbing. I know this is an odd one, but just think about it for a minute.

That’s all for now. Hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving and spent it with the people that matter. We only get one life, make it count!

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5 should-be requirements to run for president

When the RNC came to town last week, I felt compelled to watch “the baseball glove’s” closing speech (that, and my boyfriend made me). Unsurprisingly, the entire broadcast made me hate politicians that much more (not to mention lose some serious respect for Dirty Harry). I’ve realized the more I watch and follow the politics in this country, and even abroad, the less hope I have for humanity. It’s astounding how much faith we put in politicians. I understand the pressures of being in such a position are extreme and it’s usually easier said than done to follow through on the promises they’ve made us, but quite frankly I’m tired of listening to these egotistical buffoons going on about all the things they will do for us if we elect them into office and then never seeing any follow-through. With the presidental election looming, it’s more apparent than ever that there needs to be a set of obvious requirements the candidates must meet before even being considered to run for office. These requirements should overrule any other conditions involved in determining eligibilty, because, if you can’t meet these simple conditions, I don’t want you running my country. Here are several big ones:

Vote for me. Even a rabid panda would be more successful as president (and yes, that is my head).

1. A presidential candidate must know how many states make up the U.S. This one should be pretty obvious. If you don’t know how many states you’re presiding over, how are you supposed to accurately and positively impact them? Maybe everyone makes mistakes and miscommunicates their thoughts but you’re the president, you’re not allowed to make mistakes.

2. A presidential candidate must be able to produce valid proof of citizenship. I’m still unconvinced of our current prez’s “claimed” place of birth, so this is something that should be worked out before they even enter the race. I’m sorry, but if that’s even a question, if there’s even a shadow of a doubt as to where you came from, you probably shouldn’t be nominated.

3. A presidential candidate must have at least a high school level vocabulary. Maybe it was funny when Bush did it (though, as an English and writing major, I was never laughing), but even with a teleprompter and endless writers at your disposal, you still need to communicate correctly.

4. A presidential candidate must remain humble. No one wants an egotistical butthead running their country, telling them what to do. This one is tough to validate, because few politicians are humble, but this requirement could be waived if they prove worthy in other areas.

5. A presidential candidate must always keep the nation’s best interest in mind. Even if they pass 1-4, it’s very unlikely (at least in recent years) that the president will ever truly put what’s best for us ahead of his own agenda. Which brings me full circle to my original argument that no politician ever keeps their word. So basically we’re all screwed. I think I’ll vote for myself this election.

VOTE BODWELL 2012

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