Happy. I am so, so glad that the election season is nearing an end for many reasons. And while many people waited in long lines to cast their ballots today, I stayed away. My absentee ballot had been sent back to Iowa a month prior. In my mind, that method is preferable, as I can study up on the candidates and make an informed decision that doesn’t feel rushed. Today, I was able to say I did my part and am ready for the results to be in.
Why so glad, you ask?
Ads. Fortunately, in a non-swing state, I haven’t been inundated by wasteful flyers, annoying commercials, and endless campaign stops. I have listened with sympathy to Iowans with a completely different story. During recent Skype conversations with my mom, she would receive two to three phone calls from politicians during each 30-minute period.
Hyperbolic rhetoric. Each presidential candidate (even the one I voted for) has engaged in digs on one another. He did this or he didn’t do that. Whatever it was or how small and mundane the issue at hand was, it is brought up again and again. Supporters try to bring out the pettiest of charges against the other candidate to grab the public’s attention. It’s ugly and just plain sick.
Money. The amount of money raised by both of the main political parties is disgusting. I can imagine many wondrous causes doing so much good with that kind of capital. Instead, it contributes to the giant spectacle that is the political season.
But my main beef at the moment with political campaigns is this: Uninformed voters.
I cannot complain enough about people who do not research the issues and candidates themselves. People who will cast ballots based on a teeny iota of information that can possibly be false. That is what scares me most about the outcome of this election. Social media has been awful. From Facebook to Twitter, people will type furiously about why they believe such and such – sounding quite ignorant. I could care less if they are writing about Obama or Romney, but before putting yourself out there – at least Wikipedia the topic to see if there is even an ounce of truth in the statement. And please stop getting your information from liberal or conservative outlets — try to find a news source that is fair and factual.
It’s not just the candidates but the issues that people have neglected to become educated about. Honestly, it scares. me. There are some very, very important decisions being voted on tonight, and I have seen some of the DUMBEST, MOST IDIOTIC statements made on the internet about people’s voting intentions. If you feel one way or another, it could be completely against what I believe in, I will respect your decision if it is well-informed and based in fact. Not fiction. Not rumor. Not petty gossip or hearsay.
I have chosen not to respect uninformed voters. That is my choice. I respect your right to vote for the candidate of your choosing and your opinion on political issues. Just please, please be responsible, be resourceful, and research before making your choice.