Tuesday, January 15, 2008

democracy schamocracy

despite the minute percentage of people who discuss politics all year round and will try to convince you to do the same, most folks don't pay any mind until a presidential election year rolls around. even still, the majority probably don't even participate in the primaries/caucuses and will wait until the november election before they choose to exercise their civil right to vote. it is my belief that the ones who exclude themselves from the polls altogether do so because they still think their vote doesn't count. after all, one in 300 million is far less significant than say, one in 100. i am not really passing judgement here - in fact, i rarely vote in local or state elections.

you may be aware that today is the day that michigan is holding its primary election. more likely though, you aren't. it seems as though even the potential democratic nominees (at least the major ones) have forgotten the poverty ridden, economically deficient great lakes state today. but wait. not forgotten as much as ignored. you can't really blame them. the state of michigan has chosen to break DNC rules and push their primary three weeks up, supposedly in order to boost their importance in the race. stadium status. ironically (and more characteristic of the mitten's government), they've succeeded in the exact opposite. most candidates withdrew from the primary, leaving clinton as the only viable democrat on the ballot. my beef? the city of detroit and its many suburban communities will essentially fall silent. the unemployed. the poor. the under-represented. their hopes for change, for a light at the end of the tunnel, dashed. truth be told, i understand where state leaders were coming from... the rules are incredibly stupid... but it seems to me that there must be a better way. now is not the time to sacrifice the vote in order to make a point.


four years ago, i cast my vote for edwards. two years ago, i was introduced to obama.... by oprah (she changes lives!). admittedly, i was torn between the two this time around. no matter. apparently, i must sit back and let the rest of the country decide for me - i'd be happy with either of the two earning the nomination. but darkening the circle to the right of "uncommitted" today left me with an empty feeling. it was a small step backward for me, one who was jarred by the initial bush election. i didn't vote that day, eight years ago (wasn't even registered), and i learned that evening that every vote actually does count. today i did vote and in reality, it doesn't count for a thing.

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