Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A Decently Convenient Truth

Starting February 20, Grits & Eggs is participating in the first Youth Media Blog-a-thon hosted by WireTap and Youth Outlook. Young bloggers from around the nation will come together to discuss the hot topic of the day: Election 2008.

I'll admit it: I didn't vote. I know, I'm a terrible person. I guess this is kind of like my post-secret confession. Minus the complete anonymity and crafty postcard.

I didn't vote, in part, because of the kind of confusion that could have been alleviated by that #1 change suggested by our friend at The Cheddar Box. My problem? I've got an ID from a swing state, I'm living in Cali, and I've moved 3 times since the last time I voted (in 2007). I just couldn't figure my shit out in time (like whether to vote absentee or change my residency, and what address to use to get voter information).

I mean, I was already at a polling place--for 3 hours (7am-1oam) on that bleak1 Los Angeles morning before a 12-hour day at the office on "Super Tuesday". I was there trying to get passers-by to pledge their support for the Freedom to Marry (you know, for gays and lesbians).

So I'm saying, if I could have done that same-day registration, I probably would have voted.

But that's the easy reason. The one sure to gain a bit of (undeserved) sympathy and a collective groan at the absurdity of our voting process. But it's not the whole truth.

The whole truth would probably get my Progressive Politic card revoked (if my support of gay marriage didn't already get me kicked out for ostensible hegemony-reifying behavior). The whole truth? I didn't know for whom to vote.

You can go ahead an hurl your left shoe at my forehead; I know I deserve it. But even now, two weeks later, I still don't know who to call "my candidate." It's not about identity politics--though I promise you, anyone who voted on the basis of identity got it wrong and those who say they don't "see" sex, gender, and race are lying. Rather, it's about the fact that I don't see in either Democratic candidate a reflection of my own political views.

Honestly? I think that both Clinton and Obama could bring about positive change. And both could just as easily falter. But remembering the media's legacy in constructing election outcomes ( not just in 2000), I can't help but question the seemingly infallible division between Clinton's past experience and Obama's vision for future change. I just don't know how mutually exclusive these qualities truly are.

What I do appreciate about Senator Obama is his ability to build solidarity around a cause. Even as I hesitate to give him my full endorsement because I know we don't see eye to eye on some of the issues, I appreciate his ability to reach citizens across party lines and across national boarders with an appeal to make things better. But his views aren't all that different than Clinton's. And as wide-eyed and bushy-tailed as it may sound, neither can match my own socio-political views the way that could Kucinich.

So the whole truth is I didn't vote because I couldn't pick my player. And if I had the opportunity to do so tomorrow, I still wouldn't know whom to choose.

1 I promise, it was cold that day.


Anonymous said...

Great post, you pretty much summed up all of my feelings on the primary circus. And...I didnt vote either. Just moved to another state, too late to register here and couldn't get a CA absentee sent in on time. For shame, for shame, but at least i know i am not alone. We want same day registration!

Anonymous said...

hmmm... are you to try and re-register before the november elections? My God, the ACT of voting is almost as confusing as the election process itself.

Anonymous said...

guess who? :) love your blogs, sky. love that we are blogging in the same bloggy universe (blog-a-thon n' all!) miss you friend.

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