I'm eternally grateful to the brave women who went before me, courageous enough so that today I would have the right to vote. If you need to learn more about the history of the women's suffrage movement, but you are too lazy to read or investigate on your own (like you much rather enjoy the instant gratification of learning history from a movie instead of reading the Cliff's Notes), then check out HBO's Iron Jawed Angels.
This election is a tricky one. It is difficult to not get wrapped up in all of the scandal and allegations and solely focus on the issues and facts. Sometimes, I feel like I'm surrounded by a bunch of pessimists (who really call themselves realists) who tell me that it really doesn't matter who I vote for, so why waste my time. 'Eh, I say to them. I don't mind wasting my time, standing in line to punch in my ballot having the opportunity for my voice to be heard, even if no one is listening. It matters to me.
So I'm scouring the Internets browsing on factcheck.org, desperately trying not to let the rhetoric from my favorite blogger sites sway me. It is difficult to escape. I see it on television, hear it on radio, and yes, even at the water cooler at work. We flock to the little bits of gossip, like hungry rats at the fair. Blech, I can't help but feel a little icky admitting that about myself. Lucky for me, I work with quite a few men who could care less about mindless gossip, and they'd rather talk baseball or the latest software development tool instead of politics or mindless celeb gossip. At times I feel like a neophyte wandering the pristine office halls, my head filled with pointless facts, many about people I've never known or will never meet, meanwhile, my counterparts are plugging serious numbers earning mad dollars for the company. It's in my nature to know such things. I analyzed it and came to this conclusion: Science and History. Growing up, my favorite subjects in school were science and history. Science primarily because it was investigative work. I could test, re-test, investigate, prod, poke, learn, question to my hearts desire and never once was I told that I shouldn't question, shouldn't wonder, and shouldn't delve into such places. Granted, I was warned that I should never mix alkaline metals with water, but that was just a small suggestion instead of a warning, right? Studying religion, it was difficult for me to not question and wonder. I was told to accept, and then later questioned at length about my lack of faith. Because if I had the faith I needed to have, then I wouldn't question. Odd to feel ashamed for being an inquisitive child, huh? I just wanted to know why. Same went with History. I could question the reasons why such events happened. I had actual factual dates of when said events took place. Great detail and description of these events was provided to me and I devoured every last story, immediately wanting another. Thus began my love affair with words and storytelling and general observation of life and the interactions that occur between people.
It is 9 weeks to Election Day. I know this simply because election day is two days after my marathon. I'll have to participate in early voting this year. Hopefully, I won't have to stand in line for nearly an hour to cast my ballot. But if that's what is required, then I'll happily read my book or people watch. In the meantime, it will be difficult to sift through the all of the overblown hyperbole to determine what issues matter most to me and who is in line with my beliefs. I'm fairly certain I know my choice, but I do want to make a complete educated choice instead of relying on a few items that are specific to me. Heck, not long ago I did one of those questionnaires online, where your answers were compiled and it spit out a candidate that you were most in line with. My candidate isn't even on the ballot anymore and unfortunately for me, I don't remember the site. Can anyone help me out?