By Lorry Myers
By the time you read these words, election day will be over and whatever comes next will be next. I was not an early voter, instead, I will wait in line and take my turn doing something I’ve done since I was eighteen. As I write this for my Monday deadline, I have not yet voted and don’t know who won or who lost, so, at this point I can only say what I feel.
Please let it be over.
I am not old, but I am not young and in all my years of voting, this has been the most unsettling political season. All along I have struggled with who deserved my vote. I am a small-town, mid-west girl, and I was not raised to be strictly Democrat or Republican. That allows me to make voting decisions not based on political platforms but on who stands before me. This election, more than any other, I look at the candidates for the highest office in our country and can’t help wonder.
Is this all we have?
Increasingly, social media offers a microphone to anyone. Once upon a time, I didn’t know, nor did I care, what party you supported or who you voted for. If you didn’t have a yard sign, a bumper sticker, or wear a political button, I had no idea which way you leaned. Your views were yours and mine were mine and neither of us tried to change the other.
Still we respected each other.
I always believed that people vote the way they do for their own reasons. What motivates one person, might not stir another. That’s the foundation our constitution is built on; you cast a vote for who you want, for reasons that are your own.
Now, the news and the feed on my social media tell me that those younger than me, think they know everything and those older than me, think I don’t know anything. Folks who have never run for office, or sat on a board, or been appointed to a civic committee, now try to convince me they know how government works. Overnight, people have acquired new diplomas and occupations. They are now doctors and lawyers and experts in the truth. They know about causes and cures, legal rights and broken laws, what is fact and what is fiction. They are in the inner circle, they have inside information, and all the answers.
You don’t even have to ask.
According to those experts, if I vote for this candidate, I am an idiot. If I vote for that candidate, I can no longer be a friend. If I vote for this guy, the stock market will go down. If I vote for the other guy, my taxes will go up. Movie stars and pro athletes readily offer their opinions. California and New York tell me I should listen to them because, they are just like me.
I should vote just like them.
For the complete column, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.