Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Dungheap of Democracy - Know Your Candidates!


Okay, let me preface this political post by making a confession: I don't follow politics. Like, at all. It's not because I'm uneducated, or because the pointless drama and mudslinging pisses me off to the point of purposely shoving my head into a shitpile in order to avoid listening to it. No, it's because I honestly, wholeheartedly, do not care.

Before you try cramming that "civic duty" crap down my throat, I do get off my ass and vote. Usually. If the line isn't too long. But a simple Google search will tell me what candidates side with me on whatever issues I deem to be most important each election cycle; there's no need to get caught up in the crapslinging that goes on for over two long, agonizing, colon-clenching years before the ballots even hit the box.

You see, I may be on the oldest fringe of the Millennial generation, but I feel like me and my peers are the fully justified forefathers (and foremothers, thank you very much) of the Age of Apathy.

It was a crisp, autumn day in November of 2000, and, at 18 years old I was off to cast my very first vote in a historical Presidential election. On the way to the voting booth the excitement was electric; people were flying flags on the sidewalks, holding signs, honking their horns, and wearing their "I VOTED!" stickers with a sense of patriotic pride that didn't require any special act of Congress to instill. Beaming ear to ear, I punched my ballot, and went about my day in a sort of democracy-drunk haze.

And that night, like the rest of the nation, I tuned in to see the outcome of Bush vs. Gore.

What had been heralded my whole life as a momentous, magical, peaceful, and altogether American tradition of transitioning power turned into an ugly shitshow that dragged on for months. The candidate with the most votes lost. There were recounts, lawsuits, and by the time it was all said and done I think we were all rethinking our visions of the American way.

And it's only gotten worse.

With 24-hour news and social media always running, the big elections have become nothing more than an aggravating (and highly overrated, in my opinion) reality show. You may call in and cast your vote to feel like you're a part of it, but the producers <cough> Koch Brothers<cough> are ultimately going to decide who wins, and in the end, it really doesn't matter anyway. This current overflowing pot of shit stew will eventually boil down to two candidates that are really just different cheeks of the same American ass.

And now that I've got you all psyched up about the political process, let me introduce you to the candidates-- because, like it or not, one of these people is going to be the next leader of the free world. Choose who you'll blindly follow wisely.