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Why I Am Not Going To Vote

Why I Am Not Going To Vote

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Are we there yet? There used to be this car game I played as a kid. I’m not sure if it had a name or how exactly it started. There was no scoring, no points. There was no winning; it just occupied the time. This is how it went: “Would you rather eat brussel sprouts for dinner every day for the rest of your life or stand outside the school naked for an hour?” “Would you rather eat a worm or kiss a band nerd for five minutes?” “Would you rather be stung by a million bees or never be allowed to talk again? None of these choices ever sounded very appealing, but you had to choose. No matter what. That was the game. You had to say, I would stand naked in front of the school for an hour. I would kiss a band nerd. I would learn sign language. And then everyone else would squeal with laughter at your choice. I guess I am what you would call an undecided voter. I’m sure that’s what all the poll takers and politicos would say. And I want to make a choice, I do. But I just can’t. “Would you rather have a noxious know it all or the class clown for president?” “Would you rather align yourself with a well-off white guy who pretends to care or a well-off white guy who pretends to care?” “Do you vote for someone who you literally cannot stomach or the guy who scares the crap out of you?” It’s the game all over again. I thought about going third party, an out never allowed in the car game, but I feel like my hands are tied. A vote for Perot was once a vote for Clinton; in Tennessee, a vote for Nader seems to be a vote for Bush. While I like the idea of helping the Green Party, I simply cannot bring myself to vote for a major party candidate, even in a de facto way. No thank you. I suppose it’s my fault. I, like many voters, didn’t wake up during the primaries. I wasn’t ready for the election. Bush? McCain? Sure. Okay. Whatever. I remember hearing someone say that the major political parties had chosen their candidates for this election years ago and that fact was going to come back and bite the American people in the butt when they realized it. In the car game, you were supposed to come up with horrible choices, the worse the better. That was the point. And I’m hoping it isn’t the point here, but are we really supposed to believe that these were the best people the Democrats and Republicans could come up with? If that is the case, our country is in some serious trouble. Because of that, I can’t bring myself to the polls. My vote will languish unused. Analysts will say the American people are disenfranchised because we are apathetic, and we don’t know enough about the issues. I can’t speak for anyone else not voting, but me, I’m not voting because there’s not anyone worth voting for. Only people worth voting against but you only get one vote. The car game was merely a way to pass the time. No one won, no one lost. But this is the election. And someone is going to win, and America is going to lose. (You can write Mary Cashiola at cashiola@memphisflyer.com)

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