Today, my son and I made the short journey to a local, early voting place and cast our vote. It was an interesting adventure filled with new experiences and memories of experiences past.
We arrived around ten this morning and as expected, the parking area was nearly full and there was a line of people waiting. We had came prepared so we politely declined the voter guide we were offered. (We have a relative well versed in politics, politicians, and whose stand most matched our beliefs) We took our place and began the wait.
While in the end, it took a little over an hour to get from our position outside to the doorway into the voting area, it was a somewhat smooth journey. The floor was marked with those stand here, socially distancing, taped lines. Every one I saw, was wearing some form of face covering. Everyone was patient as they waited. My son though, found every notice and sign to read, photographs and paintings to make comments on and managed to startle several older ladies when he tried to spin a wooden clothes hanger and dropped it. Those do make a lot of noise when dropped to the floor in a somewhat quiet hallway.
The step forward, wait, step forward, dance we were doing gave me the chance to share memories of past voting experiences. James even listened, what else could he do? He had left all his cash at home so he couldn’t wander over to the drink machine he spotted nearby.
Finally getting inside we told our names, verified our information and got our ballets. The actual process of marking the ballets really didn’t take long, as I said, we were prepared. Once complete, we fed the paper into the machine to be counted, got our special sticker and off we went. At approximately eleven-thirty in the morning, nearly four thousand people had already voted in that building alone.
Now, here is the introspection part.
The entire process leading up to the election, has become this weird circus, filled with noise and chaos. Each and every player in the game more intent on tearing down the other players than in showing what they are capable of doing. Every, single, one, so busy tossing trash and insinuations, that all we can do is stand back out of the way and hope we can figure out the truth. While I know it was meant to be some form of satire, while my son and I were on a trip out of state, we heard one spot running on the radio station that claimed so and so would kick your puppy and ignore your children. At least the flying monkeys flew in some manner of formation. This has become a free for all.
The media is no help. I have reached the position where I find it beyond difficult to believe any words that come out of any and all so called news outlets. Trying to read reports coming from some of them is like trying to keep up with a ping pong match. The reports bouncing back and forth, from yes to no to who knows only to start over again, multiple times a day.
Social media is a disaster. Everyone has an opinion and aren’t afraid to show it. Not only that, they will argue others down on sheer opinion alone. Who needs facts right? Who needs to be fully informed and educated? Who needs to take the time to pay attention to what anyone else says? This thinks this and that thinks that and never the two shall meet. But they will sure burn down anyone who disagrees.
Civil conversations have become near impossible. I don’t know how much has been brought on by the actions of those seeking election and how much due simply to lack of consideration between those conversing. All I know is that any political conversations are like striking a match to tinder.
Its sad really. All this leaves the voter trying to decipher the mayhem and noise and derive some manner of comprehension of facts from that. To sift through the tons of mailings that arrive every day singing the songs of the name splashed across the paper. To try to research and discover is this person, who seeks re-election accomplishing anything they had promised before? What have they done,what are they doing? Are they stating the facts of what their plans are, or are they too busy throwing garbage and knives?
I’m ready for this to be over. I’m ready for the election day to pass and the final count be in. I’m ready for the nonstop commercials to end, the mailings to cease and this to be done.
But, will it be? No matter who wins, will we once again be in a battle between those who were elected to their perspective positions against whomever is elected, or will they finally set that aside and get down to the business of taking care of this country and the people who live here?