Friday, November 9, 2012

Election Follies

For the first time ever, most of the people I work with are extremely liberal. I'm not very involved in politics, so it doesn't really bother me. Though I'm registered as a Republican so I can participate in local elections during off years, about a third of my votes historically have gone to Dems and a few of my presidential ballots have been cast for Independents. This year I would have voted for the Constitution party, but they weren't listed, so I went Libertarian. I'm not a fan of Obama, and while I didn't love Romney, many say if I wanted change, I shouldn't have thrown my vote away on someone who certainly couldn't win. Maybe. But the beauty of our country is that we can vote for whoever we want. So I usually try to find who most closely matches my beliefs and throw my support their way. Unfortunately, the presidential election tends to focus on the two main parties, and lots of people don't really look into what the candidates' platforms are.

When I was in kindergarten, our school had a mock election. I remember voting for Reagan. My dad was very vocal about his position. My mom isn't a citizen so can't vote so usually didn't say much. I emphasize the importance of exercising the right to vote rather than touting which candidate I back. We have an app on our iPad that teaches about the presidents, so the girls know Barack Obama's name. He's familiar. S voted for him in her mock election on Friday. I didn't find out about the election until after school. I teasingly told her I still loved her. She wanted me to vote for Obama, too. I told her I didn't agree with his politics. She got upset that I wouldn't be on her side. I asked her why she voted for Obama. She said because she liked him. I asked her why she liked him. She couldn't really answer me. I told her it was very important to make an educated decision when voting. Our right to vote shouldn't be taken for granted, and we need to make wise choices. I promised I would do more research, but that I would probably not vote for him.

Tuesday morning, we left for school a bit early and headed to the gym where the polling station was set up. I brought a snack and a book with us to keep S entertained during the wait, but it ended up only taking about 20 minutes. We talked about the process and the lines and the computer ballot boxes and the people. She got an "I Voted" sticker, and felt very proud.

Wednesday morning, I told her Obama won. "Yes!" She was excited. I told her congratulations and was gracious. She said, "Don't worry, Mama. Mitt Romney can be president next time." So adorable. If only that had been everyone else's reaction.

I could not believe how many people were making rude comments on Facebook, getting into arguments and unfriending each other over it. I don't remember it being that way 4 years ago. I finally saw this posted and had to share it:

Ultimately, there's no point in fighting about it now. Let it go and move on. And as another friend posted:

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