Monday, November 03, 2008

November 4th--E-day

The official election day is tomorrow, and if you were smart, like myself, you opted for early voting. I'm just thinking about how crazy it's going to be tomorrow at the polling stations (and on TV). So, I have many thoughts and opinions about this "historic" election. I've tried to think about how I could make them flow nicely together, and it hasn't worked. Therefore, I'm just going to make a sort of a list about what I think about the 2008 elections. They are kind of long, but are valid, humorous, entertaining, and interesting.
  • Whenever I think about the presidential elections and the campaigns and their ads, I can't help but think about how they are so much like high school class elections. In high school, you have the two presidents who promise many things like, longer lunches, better cafeteria food, more vending machines, less homework, more free activities/events (and in elementary school, longer recess). Usually you went with the candidate that promised and gave away cooler stuff because you thought to yourself, "This guy could definitely make our senior year of high school great. Just think of all the free food we'll get." But then, in the end, no matter who won, the now high school class president still has to report to the principal who has the final say in all things. Perhaps, if you were lucky, you got one free lunch, or they added one more vending machine, or the option of pizza instead of chicken nuggets. But, it was still the same, and the president, despite all his promises the year before, could do nothing but plan the homecoming and prom, as usual. It's almost the same as our U.S. presidential elections, we vote for the candidate that makes the best promises, and promises to give us better things, but in the end, no matter who gets sworn in, he still has to report to the House and the Senate (thank goodness), who can reject his new ideas. They can promise us free lunch (or healthcare) all they want, but we'll see if it actually happens (and sadly, it rarely does).
  • These elections were the best possible thing that could have happened to the media and especially Saturday Night Live. The show was going downhill ever since the better players decided to go out and get movie and TV gigs of their own. But, now that the elections are here, SNL has an infinite amount of news and people to parody and make fun of. What I found amusing was that most of their skits had exact lines from the debates and what not. The debate parodies and mock Palin interviews practically wrote themselves from the real things. It was hilarious how accurate SNL was. I would watch the debates and then watch the SNL skit based on it, and I got the same info, except SNL was shorter and more entertaining.
  • Like I said earlier, I did the early voting thing (albeit the last day of early voting), and I'm slightly embarrassed to say that while standing in line, I honestly didn't know who I was voting for. I had a little debate in my head as I moved up in line. I know what you're thinking: "Mattie, how could this be a debate? Isn't the choice obvious?" Yes, I am conservative, but here's the thing, I really don't like either candidate. I couldn't decide. I had been putting it off, thinking that I still had time to choose, but then it all snuck up on me. The "elite media" clearly votes for Obama, and I have a feeling that no matter how I vote, Obama is going to be the next president (although he could not, who knows). I think McCain is smart and dedicated to this country, after all his slogan is "Country First." But, I worry about how old he is and if he would survive/be able to keep up with this ever changing country. This country is very much about technology and new things, and I think I would want a president who knew a little bit about those things and understood it. That's where his Vice President comes in, right? Someone that if need be could handle the technological aspects of things, someone young and smart... Sarah Palin? While sometimes I wonder that she was secretly picked by Lorne Michaels (he's the producer for SNL) because Tina Fey is so good, I don't know who convinced John McCain that she was the right choice for VP. If you know me well at all, you know I can't stand dumb people; I'm sorry, but I really think that Sarah Palin is dumb. Perhaps it's the fact that she was a "beauty queen," but more importantly, it's the fact that the woman cannot say a complete sentence and that she has to speak in broad cliches and generalizations. There was a Slate article in which they diagrammed her sentences, and boy did it look confusing. (If you enjoyed that, you should check out the one where they turned some of her quotes into poems.) I know it sounds like I'm doggin' on McCain-Palin, but I don't like Obama-Biden any better. I think many of the things Obama suggests are kind of unreasonable at this point, and I think Biden is a ... um... donkey (or the actual word I want to say). I worry for Obama and his safety as well, because I know there are crazy, psycho extremeists out there who might try something just because of his race. I don't agree with some of his political stances on certain issues, but that doesn't mean he's a bad person, or the wrong person for that matter. My younger, free-spirited side was pushing me to vote for Obama, while the mature, conservative side of me pushed for McCain. I really did stand in front of the electronic polling machine for like 2 minutes with my finger hovering over McCain and then Obama. I was thinking to myself how stupid this was, and why couldn't I decide? It was frustrating, I'll admit. But I did it, and no, I'm not telling you who I voted for (unless you really want to know and ask me).
  • Which brings me to my next two thoughts, 1) once you vote for the president you still have to vote for all those other things and people, you know bonds (I'm in Texas, so don't tell me the one that has an 8 in it), senators, railroad comissioners.... I know who the senators are and voted accordingly, but all those judges and railroad comissioners, I have no idea who they are. Some made the choice easy, there was only one person to vote for. But I voted for a few democrats for some and a few republicans for others to, you know, mix it up.
  • 2) If you were like me and couldn't choose who to vote for, please just pick who you think is the lesser of two evils. I always thought (and my mother agrees) that if you vote libertarian or write-in someone, it is like a waste of a vote. There's really no way that that person could win, so make your vote actually count and vote for one of the main guys. You'll feel better about yourself.
  • I'm just glad Hillary didn't win the primaries... I don't think I could have taken the elections if she had.
  • The electoral college is confusing, and I'm not sure I like it. I looked it up on Wikipedia, and I still don't think I understand it. So even though people are getting excited for election day and can't wait till the results are in, we still have to wait till after December 15th to really know who the president is. Dang the electoral college and those mysterious electors.
  • Although we have to wait till December 15th to know who the next president is, I can't wait till November 4th is over. I'm tired of seeing and hearing all these stickin' ads everywhere. I'm sick of all the campaign buttons and banners that are plastered on people's lawns, cars, and facebook pages. I don't like the attack ads, and I think they are ridiculous. I can't wait to watch my television shows when they are regularly scheduled instead of having them bumped because of a debate, news broadcast, press conference, or half hour long reality-series style campain ad.

Those are my thoughts as we near the end of the campaign trail and elections. If you have not done so already and are registered to, go and vote tomorrow. Take a sick day, skip your classes, but go and vote. It'll be well worth it because after you vote for whoever (a main guy, though, remember?), you can take comfort in the fact that if your chosen candidate doesn't win, you can say, "I didn't vote for him," and move to Canada with a clear conscience.