Filed under: Poli...what?
Amidst what could be will be a landmark election – either naming the first black man as president or the first woman as vice president – I ought to have a somewhat vested interest in the ongoing campaign. Yet, I cannot move past apathy. And as a 23-year-old who will likely be affected by the next president and his decisions, I lack all reasoning for my shortcomings in political motivation.
As a journalist and “a bleeding heart,” as my stepfather would say, I’d label myself liberal-minded. When registered to vote in Pennsylvania – something I have yet to do in North Carolina, though I’m working on it – I was a Democrat, and voted as such in the last presidential election, though, clearly, that made little difference. I am highly considering registering independent these days, but regardless, I’d say my vote will nearly always swing toward the less conservative stance on most issues.
However, in this election, I’m still not entirely aware of where both candidates stand on the majority of political topics facing this campaign. I did not watch the Democratic National Convention, with the exception of ten minutes because I turned on my television following work and Barack Obama was officially receiving his party’s nomination. I thought, “hey, this is a pretty monumental moment,” and persuaded my thumb to avoid skimming the channels for a brief period of time.
I have also avoided the Republican National Convention. Not because I’m highly unlikely to vote for a Republican anyway – and by “highly unlikely,” I mean “never going to happen” – but because the season premieres of Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill, 90210 and America’s Next Top Model took precedence this week.
And, although I’m generally uninformed – due to my aforementioned apathy and teenage-esque television choices – I know who I would vote for if Election Day were tomorrow simply based on one issue: Abortion.
Yes, we are in a time of war and far too many men and women – one is too many, if you ask me – are losing their lives fighting for what I believe to be an unjust cause. And yes, I completely agree than an abstinence-only education will fail. (Okay, perhaps I have more opinions than abortion-related ones, but these all pall in comparison.) But the simple issue of abortion and a woman’s right to choose – a right very few Republicans believe women should be afforded – often determines my political mindset.
I have always held very strong opinions on this particular topic, which, since moving to the south, has gotten me into an argument or seven in the past year. And because of my unfaltering position on abortion – in conjunction with the stubborn attitude I’ve always maintained – I could never, and I mean NEVER, give my vote to someone who believes women cannot make their own decision, as if we’re incompetent and incapable of soundly deciding what is in our best interest.
And for those who want to challenge my stance on the issue, I do understand an individual’s reasoning for taking the opposing side. I completely grasp that position. However, it’s not one I agree with, and thus, will not choose a commander-in-chief who holds those views.
This impending election places two pro-life Republicans against two pro-choice Democrats, making my choice more than simple, further perpetuating my apathy. If, by some strange twist of reality, Republican candidates change their anti-abortion stance – same goes for the Democratic party altering their views – I’d review and consider other issues. But, for now, the parties seem to make my decision-making process a relatively small one.
I am not, nor have I ever been, politically-inclined. Generally speaking, I tend to avoid news articles that surround politics in any fashion. Simply put, it’s not where my interests lie, nor will it ever be – so I assume. And while it may seem I am thusly an uninformed voter, since I am making my decision based on one issue alone, I don’t live under a rock. Whether or not I choose to inquire about the political choices of these candidates, the news surrounds me regardless and I can ascertain their stance on a variety of topics … and, typically, I still side with the Dems – i.e. The pro-choice, anti-war, gun-control supporting hippies of the 21st century.
I’ve been told by everyone from my editor to my parents that as I grow older, I’ll become more interested in politics and perhaps base my decision on more than the fate of unborn children. But for now, I am completely content remaining fairly apathetic and making my choice without further investigation of the candidates. Maybe that’s not how you, your family, your friends or hell, even your dog would decide, but I’m game for whatever keeps me content. And, for me, that’s a candidate who has faith in my decision-making abilities when it comes to my body and the children I may or may not spawn.
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