In 2000 I stepped into the voting booth in Astoria, Queens, and voted for who I thought was the lesser of two evils. I swore I would never do it again.
In 2004, I stepped into the voting booth in Hoboken, New Jersey, and voted for who I thought was the lesser of two evils. I felt dirty and disgusted with myself afterward.
Let me say it for the billionth time: I effing hate the two-party system.
You see, to me, voting is one of the most personal decisions a person can make, and when you're forced to (or feel you're forced to, as I did. I mean, no one was pointing a gun at my head, but it was sooooo imperative that I pick one or the other in that last election that I didn't want to "waste my vote" on a write-in) pick a candidate out of fear of the other guy, that isn't democracy to me. It's just gross. I say this as someone who has never declared a political party, as I don't think my beliefs can be all found in one place. And for that reason, I am beyond annoyed that we are a country that is 232 years old and as diverse as we are and are still working with only two major parties.
Think about it: We have 30 Major League Baseball teams to cheer for, God knows how many different religions (no pun intended) to participate in, hundreds of television channels to watch, hundreds of choices for higher education, ten different movies in the theater at a time. I mean, we have more choices for toilet paper, and that just wipes our friggin' asses. And you're going to tell me that the entirety of 300 million people's political beliefs can be summed up in one of TWO parties (or at least two parties with a real shot at winning)? It's just mind boggling to me.
So, yeah, here it comes.... I can understand someone who doesn't want to vote, if they don't like either major candidate and feel they aren't being heard by voting for one of the lesser-knowns. And I don't think they should be vilified if they have educated themselves and STILL don't agree with either guy's stances and are therefore abstaining. I'm far enough removed from both parties, where I can walk around in someone else's shoes to see why they would be disenchanted with the candidates and not feel comfortable casting a vote for them. Throw tomatoes at me and chastise them all you want, but just as it's your right to vote, it's also your right to say "I'm not comfortable with entrusting either of these dudes with the future of this country."
And now that I got off my chest, I will say that I am voting tomorrow because I actually like the candidate I am voting for (who knew?). But I'm not doing it out of fear of the other candidate or because a bunch of know-it-all celebrities told me to (or NOT to...you're so clever with your smarmy irony, Hollywood!), or because Starbucks is promising me free coffee and Ben & Jerry's free ice cream (but the homeless who can't vote and actually NEED free food... do they get anything?), or because several of my more politically minded friends would kill me in my sleep if I didn't or because women fought for my right to vote (the argument I hate the most, because it should never have had to have been fought for to begin with since it's my right as a HUMAN not as a woman. And seriously, there is no equivalent way to guilt-trip a guy into voting, and I'm all for equality, yo) or because Facebook "invited" me to.
No, I'm voting because I want to.
God bless America.