Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I never voted in any primaries before I met E. The only time I was even interested in voting in a primary was for the 2000 presidential election, but I wasn't turning 18 until the month after the voting took place. My pick didn't make it past the primaries.
I never gave any thought to local primaries, like DA or Comptroller. Even mayoral primaries failed to move me to voting.

Of course, when I met E, my idea of being involved in politics was to register with the party that was dominant in whatever area I was in and send in my absentee presidential ballot when I got one in the mail. I didn't research the issues. I didn't read up on the candidates, I didn't have long discussions on who would be better. I usually picked on emotional factor only: viscerally, who did I feel would be better at it?

My thoughts were, every day you wake up and go to work, come home and get into bed, and repeat- I didn't think anyone in politics impacted my day to day life (and yes, I was in the military at the time, so of course NOW I see how getting informed on who to vote for the commander in chief would have been a good idea).

This laid back take on politics is due primarily to the fact that in my family, politics was not a topic we discussed. It wasn't forbidden or anything, we just didn't bring it up much. I remember I had a teacher for Social Studies one year who talked a lot about politics, and every day I'd come home and say, Mr. Teacher says that blah blah blah. It didn't matter what I was saying, my parents would listen and that was it. There were very little if any counter arguments, and no thought provoking questions, which to my parents' credit I probably wouldn't have listened to any way given that I was solidly in my teen years.

Imagine the culture shock when I married into a family whose primary topic at the dinner table is either politics or law. My family talks about our days, talks about fun things we did as a family and tells funny stories from our pasts. His family talks politics and *gasp* from time to time asks me what I think.

And so I was dragged into understanding politics. Dragged into knowing how much these politicians impact our day to day lives. Dragged into watching pundits and voting predictions and debates.

Not that my level of interest has increased all that much:

Today E and I went to vote in the primaries. There were four positions being voted on. Sadly I knew the hopefuls for only two of them, and realized when I got inside the booth that I couldn't remember the name of the mayoral candidate I'd decided on (based off of very extremely limited research). I knew who I wanted to vote for DA, only because I have heard the positions of each through E and his research. The other two positions I voted for randomly, based on how much I liked their names.

So on the one hand I am a good civic citizen for voting. On the other hand, my random selection for half of the positions and lack of research on the others makes me feel like I've canceled out the "good" in good civic citizen.

No wonder I didn't get a "I voted!" sticker.

1 comment:

  1. "The other two positions I voted for randomly, based on how much I liked their names."

    This made me laugh out loud! So something I would do.


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