I’m feeling the fog again…bear with me on this. I was thinking today about my recent infatuation with Ron Paul. My blog friend Fighting Windmills has asked me about my brush with hope in the form of Mr Paul and that got me to thinking finally about the election. Funny thing about apathy…no matter how it feels as though the fog is lifting for me, in times of stress I begin to realize that the fog isn’t moving. It hangs there like a weighted veil in front of my face.
I begin to wonder about the recurring butterflies I get in my stomach when I see or hear Ron Paul speak. I want so much to trust him, to think that he is “different.” I think that things will be better with him in charge. It is like an unattainable love. I am committed still to the party with which I have registered even though that can be changed and even if I choose not to leave that relationship, there are rules in place that would allow me to be unfaithful to that party without consequence. I can vote in the Republican Primary as a registered Democrat here in Tennessee because of Open Polling.
I hear the old voices in my head as I consider it…”you’re throwing away your vote” quickly countered by another voice, “your vote doesn’t matter anyway.”How can two such ugly voices be the ones which will inform me in this? I cannot help but wonder if those two voices are the ones that many of us hear these days. Am I wasting my vote by voting my conscience? Does my vote even matter, really?
I’ll tell you first why I like Ron Paul. I like his stand on the issues. I like his track record. I like his family history. I like his approach. I like the way he speaks, the way he (or his speech writers) form his sentences. I like that he wants to end the war…that he seems to not be afraid in saying what he thinks. He seems confident even though his chances of getting the nomination are slim…very slim indeed. The sad part about this statement is that it is just this kind of thinking that keeps his chances so slim…or maybe his chances are slim because the system is funky.
I would love to have the brainpower to explain just why Ugly Voice 1 has such sway with me. It’s so easy for me to criticize the underlying system in place here when it comes to getting someone elected. It is harder to really explain it in real, actual facts. I’m not hard-wired for that. I’m more an intuitive, I’m like Counselor Troy from Star Trek. I know it because I feeeeeeeeel it. Or maybe that’s just an excuse to not do the research or make an effort to understand on a more factual basis. I just know that whenever I think upon it in those terms it makes me tired and I’m tired enough already.So I choose to circumvent that by indulging my infatuation with the backdoor Open Polling option. I remain married to my party of choice while I have a fling with the other side. Nobody gets hurt, everybody wins…except maybe my candidate.
In walks Ugly Voice 2. Because of the way the electoral college system is set up in this country it is not uncommon for the feeling to arise that since I live in Tennessee it’s pretty much “all over” by the time the smoke has cleared. Now, strictly speaking, this is not really true. I’m certain that voice of the masses does matter but in the fog of my apathy it doesn’t feeeeeeeeel that way. At this point, again I could try to school myself enough to convey just what the electoral college does and why it’s such a freakily complicated and weird way to do things in this day and age but again, I’m tired. Apathy will do that.
What is most helpful in this whole thing, I think, is being in the conversation. Listening to the ugly voices in my head will eventually get me nowhere fast, paralyzed by the fog. It does help to listen to the struggle in the voices of the people around me, whether I agree with their politics or not. It helps to hear voices of reason and affirmation and they do exist. After visiting Fighting Windmills’ blog and seeing all the information she has up there it did feel as though there may be some hope yet that while I may not feel the fog is moving I can at very least feel as though I am moving, guided by some good, strong and beautiful voices.