Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Seniorwriter's Confession, Super Tuesday 2008

Since most of my fellow bloggers seem to feel compelled to discuss this year's political campaigns, I feel an urge to confess: I did not vote in yesterday's Illinois primary. Hate me for that if you must, but here's my confession.

I've always resisted writing or talking about three subjects: sex, religion, and politics. It's not that I don't think those topics are important, but they generate so much emotional controversy and conflict that I take the easy way out. Besides, I obviously do not have any amazing insights in any of those areas. But here goes: Why didn't I vote yesterday?

Yes, I usually vote. However, I admit that all the Super Tuesday hpye this time eventually got to me, and I tuned it out. My superficial, old-lady excuse for not voting was the icy, slushy sidewalks.. Getting to my polling place would have been difficult, but probably not impossible.

Had the weather been better, I might have voted, but there were other factors at work. I really couldn't decide between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. I could support either. I like the idea of a woman president, but I like Obama too. His win in Illinios was a sure thing.

Local races? Chicago-area politics have always turned me off. I probably would have voted for the condidate with the funniest animated attack campaign ad, but I understand he lost be a wide margin. My vote wouldn't have elected him, and I have no way of knowing whether he had any qualifications beyond a daring spin doctor. His opponent's ads implied that the one with the funny ads is just another political hack. Do you detect cynicism on my part? Yes, indeed.

This country needs the idealism of youth, and I sometimes regret that I lack it. Big government, dirty politics, campaign phone calls, empty rhetoric, and media hype have overwhelmed me. Couldn't all that money be used more beneficially?

On the other hand, my world travels have not shown me any country I'd rather live in or any system of government that works better than ours. For all its problems, ours is still a great country. I wish that I could believe that a new president will provide all the answers, or even most of them, but alas. I have to believe in the art of compromise.

Anyway, I can't say I'm very sorry for missing the primary election, but barring my death, a serious health setback, or a monumental snowstorm in November, I promise to vote in the general election.

Copyright 2008 by Marlys Marshall Styne

3 comments:

John Ward said...

You have the right to vote, but its not a sin to sit out. I'm one of those independents who often vote Republican; but I like Obama. I wanted to vote for him in our WA State primary, but I couldn't do it without lying.

In WA, the mail-in ballot included an oath I couldn't agree to. I had to agree not to vote for or support any candidate who was not a democrat. I couldn't agree to this silly rule, so I didn't vote.

By the way, you have a much longer history observing Obama in office than many of us. In your opinion was he successful in Illinois?

seniorwriter said...

John: An oath like that would have turned me off, too.

As for Obama, I just don't follow politics enough to have formed much of an impression of Obama until he made the national scene. Illinois politics can be crazy, even crazier than national politics.

Maybe I need to start paying more attention.

Anonymous said...

Physical and mental activity is what keeps us young. As a freelance writer who has taught creative writing at both the high school and college level, I believe we can all be writers. Seniors in particular have so much life experience to share.

Jacqueline Seewald
THE INFERNO COLLECTION, Five Star/Gale