The last time I voted in any election was 1992. (The presidential candidates being Bush 1/Clinton 1/Perot). Since that time, I have not stepped behind the curtain to exercise my right. I’ve gone from skeptical all the way up to completely disgusted by our political processes. I don’t see that the “will of the people” has any bearing on the system.
In lieu of voting for talking heads, I’ve gone more grassroots – supporting and engaging in local and regional organizations that have an impact on issues that are important to me. At least there, my opinions and efforts have some significance. I’ve also written a letter or two to the representatives at various levels when I feel strongly about something, but that’s as far as I’ve cared to venture into the system.
Our elected officials overstepped their bounds recently and ignored the will of the people on a huge issue. A deal to end a long running water war here in the West was hammered out “by the people” on all sides of the issue, then handed over for congressional action. Instead of rubber stamping the plan, the gamesmanship began, special interests jumped into the fray and now the plan sits collecting dust. The solution was handed to them on a silver platter and now it appears that it will rot there. All parties to the plan will now go back to court, back to protesting, back to threatening, back to war.
Today, I registered to vote. Not because I suddenly believe in the system again, but because I want to be sure that I can at least cancel out someone else’s vote, maybe even cancel out two. With the way things are looking, we will have two laughable choices for president from the traditional 2 party system. I doubt our congressional choices will be much better.
This is not what our founding father’s envisioned. But ignoring it doesn’t work for me anymore. It feels un-american to do this, but I plan to vote in protest of a broken system. Instead of voting for the lesser of 2 evils, I’ll vote against them both. Unless acceptable candidates make it through the primaries, I will be exercising my right to vote by writing in a candidate of equal ridiculousness – fictional or otherwise.