One of the things you might not know about me is that I am way into the politics. I find them stinky and yet so compelling, much like a fine cheese. Local politics, national, and international. All of it. I have facts and opinions and theories and the whole kielbasa, which for the most part I try to keep to myself unless asked because I realize not everyone wants to hear it. I come from a very political family, where you either knew some shit about the world and what was going on in it or you would be at a loss at the dinner table. I have this memory of being in 2nd grade, and I went to school and started an argument with my 2nd grade teacher when she showed the class a clip from Bedtime for Bonzo to illustrate who our president was (and what kind of effed up civics lesson is THAT, by the way) and I told her that she needed to not dumb it down and that if she was going to talk Bonzo, she better not leave out the part about how the human in that movie was also into supporting the Contras in Nicaragua.
That lady never did like me after I did that.
So anyway, election times are always exciting to me. There, I said it. EXCITING. I try to keep the feelings quashed in front of other people so as to seem appropriately apathetic like a good American, but inside, I love voting. Love it. Nordic Boy and I, we read up on the issues, we talk about it at dinner, and when we get our ballots in the mail we sit down and we vote. It’s a big deal in our house.
Maybe it’s because in my family, we didn’t always have the right to vote. My grandparents didn’t have full voting rights under British colonization. When he could, my dad and his brother stepped up to run for office to govern themselves. My dad ended up as mayor of a small city back in the homeland (although he couldn’t, sadly, see Russia from his house) and my uncle was a member of parliament for many years. It’s hard for me to express how poignant that is. It means that I can’t take voting for granted and that there have been times, when in the act of voting, I have choked up a little. Does that sound Pollyanna-ish? Naive? I’m sure it kind of does and believe me I am simultaneously deeply cynical about the whole business too. I know politics is fucked up. I know that I feel like my vote doesn’t matter a lot of the time. But I can’t not vote, and vote seriously, as if it matters, even if in some ways you could argue that it doesn’t. If I didn’t vote, it would be like I was dismissing my entire family, stretching way back for generations. I think about them, and I think about all the people who want to vote all around the world, but can’t. I think about the twisty, windy path it took my ancestors to get me to where I am right now, able to sit in my house, with a ballot mailed to me for my convenience, and how I am able to take a few hours out of my life to access some information about what’s on the ballot, figure out how I feel about it, and then fill in the ballot, easy peasy. Fill them in like it’s nothing. Read up, look up some stuff, fill in some dots, and done. All while in my pajamas if I want to. Something that is so impossible, so difficult for so many, and I just get to do it. No probs. It sort of blows my mind, every time I think of it. I just can’t seem to take this one for granted, no matter how jaded I become.
I didn’t set out to write a sappy post about voting. But there you have it. I am a politically cynical chickee who can still feel a sort of reverence for voting. Roll your eyes if you must. I won’t be upset.
That’s it for now. All this talk makes me want to go watch Bedtime for Bonzo again.