Oped | So ready for ‘Election 2016’ Reality Show to end, but still embracing the Vote

Did you watch last night’s presidential debate…. the one that was billed as drawing Super Bowl-like viewership numbers?

I did. For 15 minutes. Then I turned it off and realized that politics, which I have always found interesting and followed (something that drives my husband nuts), now makes me want to bang my head against a wall.

This seemingly never-ending presidential election cycle has sucked too many of my brain waves over the past year and a half. (Insert image of my brain as a blow up mattress being deflated.) I am tired of the same talking points being hammered home. Tired of the same rhetoric on all sides. Tired of every speech or comment being dissected by “expert panels” on 24-hour news stations.

Just plain tired. Calgon take me away. Please…. let it be over.

Yes, it’s a historic presidential election. We have a former first lady and the first woman candidate matched up against reality star, billionaire businessman. I get that both sides say so much is at stake.

I am fully aware this election makes for good TV and more website clicks, but I am still tired. Exhausted from all the political ads saying I should be scared – scared of ISIS, higher taxes, losing my job, crumbling roads – and that I need the right candidate to protect me from it all.

Reality check. One candidate can’t do it all no matter how it’s sold on social media. It takes community to make change happen. Community is at the heart of it all – not hate, insults, lies. Community requires people come together. In stark contrast, this presidential election has divided, made many people mean, judgmental – at least on social media.

But I will vote, practice my civic duty. Decide for myself which candidate aligns more closely with me. That’s really what voting votecomes down to for most people – and it’s what our constitution represents. Freedom. To have these freedoms you have to accept that others may embrace what makes you cringe. They may say things that are polar opposite to what you believe.

Citizenship isn’t always easy, but I welcome it. I may have to turn off more presidential debates and those 24-hour news stations that now make my blood pressure rise, but that’s okay. It’s my choice. But I will still vote… and then long for the days when a school board or city council election is the only thing on my ballot.

About 40 more days folks. Yes, I am counting it down. And don’t forget to register to vote AND actually vote. After all, it is National Voter Registration Day.

If you still need to register to vote visit King County Elections HERE. You can register right online until October 10th.



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