Why I am Watching Attack Ads Rather than Voting

Thanks to my laziness in not registering to vote, and the great state of Maryland’s apparent need to have lots of time to process registrations (and no same day registration!) I will not be voting on Tuesday. At first I felt guilty and spent some time researching candidates to see if I felt strongly enough about anyone to spend this weekend campaigning. I did not find anyone whose positions I liked well enough, but it did at least make me feel better about not being able to vote!

So instead of finalizing our choices and fighting over whom to vote for, Josh and I have been spending time watching and voting onĀ attack ads thanks to WSJ.com.

I cannot figure out exactly how it happened. How did I go from the 15-year-old who told my parents whom to vote for in primaries to the 19-year-old who went door to door campaigning for a certain candidate for president to the 25-year-old who is not voting and feels a little bit guilty but not upset?

The oddest part of all is that I am actually enjoying apathy. I like the fact that Josh and I are spending our time laughing at things like this:

and not fighting over candidates. It is hard to feel like one vote matters in a state like Maryland, and maybe I will end up with a bit more balance after taking a walk on the apathetic side.

How are you feeling about the election? Are you emotionally involved with the results? Have you campaigned before? Have you ever not voted?

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5 thoughts on “Why I am Watching Attack Ads Rather than Voting

  1. Michelle

    The only election I sat out was 1992. I was a freshman in college and didn’t do the absentee vote thing.

    As for right now, I’m just so upset with government in general, that I am one of those people who thinks we ought to fire them all and start over!

  2. Fran Rossi Szpylczyn

    Oh, if I had the time I could go on forever. But of course, who would want to listen?

    My first presidential vote was cast in 1978, for Jimmy Carter. (A vote that to this day I do not regret casting, even though the Carter presidency was… well, you know.) I have voted in every presidential election since and in almost every election since my first vote in 1976. (That blasted November birthday had me miss election day ’75 by a week or so!)

    And I will vote on Tuesday.

    Sadly, so much of my voting history is marred by voting half-heartedly. I can understand the apathy but I have not ever been able (registration issues such as yours, not withstanding) to sit out an election. That said, I am reluctant to criticize anyone who chooses to not vote.

    This year has been particularly bad, each one seems progressively worse and I am so troubled by it all. The video you present is funny and like all good satire, it makes a point. This is by the way, one of the primary reasons you are highly unlikely to hear me talk about “taking America” (or the Church) or anything “back.” Forward we go, for good or ill. (Hatchet faced nutmeg dealers, take that!)

    What seems to really be so much worse – attack ads being the symbol – is that so few are truly interested in what actually happens and now. Change happens slowly. Compromise is not always a bad word. Attacking others does not make a better person. Doesn’t every – and I do mean every – politician have some entanglement due to ridiculous campaign finance laws that let loads of money through? Tea Party schmee party – does anyone truly understand power and its impact? And I am not a cynic, but I am a student of the world around me and those years in the corner office at a corporation taught me a thing or two. (Which is why I am glad that I now work in the parish office!)

    Well look at how I have waxed on here. I am voting and with one exception, I will vote will far less enthusiasm than I would wish to have.

    As for you and your apathy, it appears to be a very thoughtful apathy and I say that sincerely. I saw steep yourself in it. It is perhaps a “retreat” of sorts and I suspect it will yield future fruit for you. And that my friend is always a good thing.

  3. Kacie

    I’ve never campaigned, and this is actually the first time I’ve voted in an election that is all state – no presidential election. My husband is in the same boat as you, though, and isn’t voting. I am definitely giving him a hard time about this. :)

  4. John

    I’m voting tomorrow, but only for two of the races because those are the two for which I read the candidates’ platforms.

    I, like you, am pretty apathetic, but there is one particular issue that gets me pretty fired up, and unfortunately, these days, neither of the mainstream parties are making the right choice on that issue.

    This past presidential election I did not vote, partly because I was conveniently in the middle of Uganda (and absentee ballotts are only counted in contested elections anyway, so absentee voters’ votes really don’t count in most circumstances) far from any place to cast my vote, but also because I really dislike politicians and am pretty cynical about the process.

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