I remember when I was young, when all of my friends were young, when I believed that those who are elected into office have the best interest of the people they lead at heart…
Long gone is that time, sadly.
I will admit, the first time I voted I didn’t really know what I was doing. I went with my mother. She told me what I needed to do before I voted, she told me about the candidates, she told me how to run the machine, she even told me how to make it all easier. “Just go into the booth and push the button that says ‘Vote Republican’ and then you’re done. If you want to vote for someone else, go ahead. It’s just easier to vote a straight ticket.”
I didn’t know what was going on, and for that reason, I wanted it to be over as quickly as possible. I pushed the dreaded “Vote Republican” button.
If I would have known that the vote I cast that day was a vote for sending my friends into Iraq and Afghanistan alongside 1,060 other Americans who would be forced to make the ultimate sacrifice, I would not have cast it. If I would have known that with my vote, valuable research that could save the lives of thousands of Americans would be in danger of losing its funding, I would not have cast it. If I would have known that voting meant giving everyone a “tax-break” to boost an economy that was struggling because of poor monetary policy set forth by the man I helped put in power, I would not have cast my vote. If I would have known that the leaving no child behind would put undue stress on our nation’s educators to get test scores up; stress that would result in some school systems not allowing students to score below a 50% on an assignment or exam, even if they turn it in late or not at all, I would not have cast my vote. If I would have known that beliefs that are not mine would be pushed my way when the man I voted for made it into office, I would not have cast my vote. If I knew I was voting for a man who would rather bulldoze our natural resources, our forests, our mountains, our public land and turn it into privately owned plots set aside for big businesses to expand and build, I would not have cast my vote.
Hindsight is 20-20. I know now that the man I voted for does not believe in what I do. He does not see the value of scientific research aimed at healing ailments such as paralysis. He does not believe in conserving our environment the way that I do. He does not see that his education plans are empty, ill funded pieces of legislation that will not succeed in anything more than weakening our education system with grade padding and un-fair grade reporting. I voted for a man who does not understand simple economic principles.
He does not see the consequences of his actions.
And that makes me angry…