Sunday was the fifth of November.
Monday, entirely by coincedence, I read V for Vendetta.
Tuesday I went and did my civic duty, and voted in the elections.
Today I sit and ponder the act of voting.
I always feel… out of my depth, I suppose. Here I am, lending my tiny but not insignificant voice in a grand decision, and I am never sure if I am truly qualified for the job.
I have a remarkable amount of trouble staying abreast of current events in general, and politics are hardly an exception. I don’t hide my head under a rock by any means, but it is often the last thing I pay attention to, and the more my knowledge of things comes secondhand, is filtered through other peoples views and voices, the more I wonder how much of my opinions are my own.
Even so, I’m firmly on one side of things given the current state of affairs in the US. As uneducated about things as I am, I am solidly against Bush and what he has done. Unlike many of my friends, I’ve never threatened to run off to Canada. I’ve never proclaimed him a fascist, or called him Hitler. But I disagree with what he’s done, and would like to do what I can to change those in power who support it.
With that as my outlook, my voting should in theory be simple – Republicans bad, Democrats good, right? Knowing so little of the specifics of things, doing all I can to put the democrats in power should be an easy choice, yes?
And yet, I dislike the simplicity of it all. So just to confirm my outlook, I go and do my research on the candidates. I try to find what truth there is in between the mudslinging and the handwaving. I look up past activities, I look up voting records. (I discover, among other things, that Maryland is home to 2 of the 7 Republican Representatives who voted against the bill that suspended Habeas Corpus.)
I do a great deal of research, and come out of it knowing very little more than I did when I began.
I go to the assigned location, and I vote as seems best to me. And I do it all plagued by the fear that, all in all, it is far too difficult to really know what affect my actions will bring, if any. Part of it is the fear enounced by Spider – but much more is simply the fear that nothing is that clear-cut, and decisions are not so easily made.
I voted, and I did a great deal of research that changed very little about how I voted, and left me not much more confident in my knowledge of the strange world of politics.
But I still feel glad I made the effort, and I feel glad I got a nice little sticker with a flag that says “I Voted.” And on all accounts, I should be damn well pleased with the results of the election itself.
Still, I find myself feeling more contemplative of things than anything else – and in the end, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.