It would be rather difficult to ignore this time of year. The leaves are turning colors more burnt orange, more goldenrod and definitely more brilliant than any crayon. The smell of bonfires and the chill in your cheeks seem to pervade your senses the instant you walk outdoors. Plans are made to visit the nearby apple orchards where cider donuts are available by the dozen. Pumpkins adorn every other doorstep in the neighborhood along with spooky Halloween decor. Light sweaters are pulled out of storage along with caramel-colored tall boots and scarves. We order Pumpkin Spice Lattes with reckless abandon.
Sigh. Election season, right? Oh. You thought I was talking about autumn. My bad.
As November 2, 2010 draws near, campaigning begins to assault all of our senses. Morning news is no longer a way to check weather, traffic or pertinent local stories. It becomes a mess of increasingly nasty advertisements aimed at pointing out every little flaw of the “other guy.” Cell phones go off all day, ringing with volunteers asking, “Can I count on your vote?” or “Will you be participating in early voting this year?” Other campaign volunteers have papered local storefronts with posters not-so-subtly reminding anyone passing by that “Joe Election” is running for governor.
While I do understand the need for campaigns, I feel that each year I get more and more confused as to who would best represent my needs, or even better, the needs of our community. However, this year I am quite clear which candidate lied about being in the military and which candidate wants to mess with some senior citizen’s social security.
While I fully intend to exercise my civic duty and vote (“Yes, Victor Volunteer, I will be participating in early voting”), I feel that campaigning has gotten out of hand. Gone are the public declarations of making our city, our state or even our nation a better place for us to live. The candidates would rather smear their opponents in public. At this point, I’m at a loss of who will be the person person for the job, no matter the political party. I am having a difficult time deciding which name to touch on my touchscreen ballot. Decisions, decisions.
Perhaps I will get into my little booth and say, “Screw it, I’m writing in candidates!” Maybe I will vote for the gentleman I saw outside the courthouse this morning wearing his finest white suit topped with a black tank top. Not just any tank top, this one was snugly fit and adorned with an ironed-on photograph of him near his bike imploring you to write-in his name for Governor. One must admit, this is an intriguing marketing campaign (maybe even more so given Illinois’ track record of Governors). I didn’t hear him bashing any of the other gubernatorial candidates either. Rather, he was just politely approaching people near the courthouse and suggesting that they all write his name in on the ballot. Sadly, I suspect it is a fruitless method of campaigning. (Despite enjoying his efforts, I will not be voting for the “Tank Top on Top of a Suit Coat” party.)
Good luck to all voting in the Illinois election tomorrow. Obviously, we have our work cut out for us in the voting booth. However, please don’t let this deter the voting. Do a little research beyond listening to the atrocious television ads, and get to the polls. You can get your Pumpkin Spice Latte after voting.
My name is Fabulously Awkward and I approve this message.
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