Will the Outcome of the Election Actually Affect Our Lives?

outcome of votingI just finished watching the third presidential debate.

I skipped the second one after being really annoyed by the vice presidential debates. Turns out, I skipped the exciting one and tuned in when it got boring.

Watching the vice presidential debate really made me think. Do any undecided voters tune in for that? And if so, are their opinions swayed at all by the seconds-in-command?

Deciding that the answer was no, I moved on.

Watching the third debate seemed silly to me, though I did learn that they’re tied 47-47, which you would not be able to tell in my fair city.

I don’t know any undecided voters. In fact, I don’t know how someone could be undecided in this campaign. I feel like regardless of political party, you vote along your own values, and you don’t need one (or three) debates to see which candidate would be more likely to represent your ideas (for the impact of the election on your finances, see yesterday’s post on Reality vs. Aspiration).

Are You Undecided at This Point?

In 2004, I thought politics and campaigns would be my life. In 2012, with the benefit of hindsight, I am so, so glad that I am not involved in that world, even as a volunteer. But it surprises the 2012 version of myself to honestly wonder how the outcome of the presidential election would affect my little life. The funny thing is, that’s a wasted thought, because we can never know how different things would have turned out. We don’t have the benefit of hindsight when we vote for president.

So, we watch. And, more importantly, we vote. Most of us vote for the person who is similar to us, whether that’s pro-life, pro-gay marriage, or pro-Big Bird.

In Oregon, we don’t go to the polls, so in my state, this will all be over soon. We got our ballots in the mail over the weekend. They don’t come with “I voted!” stickers, and we either have to fork out the better part of fifty cents and mail in our ballots, OR we have to drive by someone who is collecting ballots. It’s all very anti-climactic, I’ll admit, but I do it anyway, in every single election, simply because it’s a luxury that American women have enjoyed for less than 100 years, and women in a lot of countries still don’t get to enjoy. Plus, it gives me the freedom to complain when the wrong person gets elected.

Because of the electoral college, the country doesn’t wait with bated breath to see who won Oregon’s seven electoral votes.

Do You Think It’s Important to Vote?

I have voted in Washington, Washington DC, and Oregon, and I’ll be honest, my vote for prez just didn’t matter all that much.  It’s not like the personal decision about whether you should walk away from your home.  Those decisions matter…

But the smaller elections? Every single vote matters. My first year of college, I voted absentee in Washington, and the local school levy passed by three votes. The measure needed a 60% majority, and because I mailed in my ballot, and my parents voted in favor, the schools got to keep the heat on. Or something.

If you don’t vote, start. Sure, you might think voting doesn’t matter, but it’s a lot like personal finance. Little things add up.

And your vote may be a little thing, but the more you exercise your rights, the more likely you are to feel connected.

Vote. Because there are people out there dying to have this liberty.

I’ll get off my soap box. There are fewer than two weeks left until the election. And that means that I can go back to watching season 839 of The Bachelor instead of this he-said, he-said no-I-didn’t-yes-you-did reality television they call American politics.

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    • says

      I think it will require a combination of cuts and raising taxes. We are at historic lows with taxes, and we were probably more prosperous 20-30 years ago when taxes were higher.

    • says

      I think the media is part of the problem with this election and politics in general. I would argue that neither candidate is bad, and neither is too extreme. However, the media portrayal of them is so divisive it contributes to the problem.

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