By E. Max Bonem, Esq.
Today, November 6th, 2012, The Bro Journey partook in a tradition as old as our nation itself. We completed one of the few consistent quadrennial tasks (others being the adjustment of one’s diet, a new found interest in some foreign sport, and the ritual purchasing of new underpants, if your name is Matt Jared) and did it with both pride and a heavy outpouring of joie de vivre (Sidenote – I once took an entire class on the French Revolution, something that I do not recommend to any senior during their last quarter/semester in college, but since then I am now incapable of looking at America’s political history without linking it to the monumental moves made by Robespierre & Danton, along with many others. Great job fellas. (Why do I feel like “Viva La Vida” should be playing all of a sudden?)).
Although Matt & I marched happily to the polls (and waited in line for close to an hour and a half to cast our ballots), I knew going in that my one single vote towards the POTUS was basically insignificant and made no difference in terms of affecting who will rule our great nation for the next four years. You see, living in Texas ensures a multitude of guarantees, including a lack of “real” winters, no state income tax, and all votes towards the electoral college going blood red (the last time the state went blue was probably during the LBJ-era, but those were much different times when folks understood that hurricanes were caused by high barometric pressure, not gay marriage (Yes, I stole that from The Newsroom, it happens)).
I am a born and raised Ohioan and with Ohio being one of the two or three most important states this year in terms of deciding who will pretend to run the world for the next four years (based on electoral college votes), I feel slightly disappointed that I now an official Texan (according to my license) and am unable to vote absentee in a state where my vote might actually matter. I’m not here to rant about the broken American voting system or how we’ll never be a true democracy until the popular vote officially decides who leads us into the future, but I will say that I would like to see that changed in my lifetime.
What I will say is that state and local elections MATTER and even if you’re stuck in the mindset that your vote will go unheard, you can help change things in your town or city for the better by just showing up:
Vote to support or reject changes in term-length for local lawmakers.
Decide if your streets will get the tax raises needed to install new traffic lights or bike lanes.
Help museums and parks in your area get the funds needed to be enjoyed by the next generation.
You know how your “wise” elders say, “It doesn’t matter who gets elected. Everyone in Washington is corrupt and no individual has the power to change anything?” Well, there’s some truth to that, but just because you might not be able to affect who sits in the big leather chair at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue (depending on which state you call home, obviously), you CAN help bring change to your neighborhood and city and THAT is certainly something to wait in line for.
With that, I’ll leave you with the most astute political commentary of the entire presidential race, courtesy of one of the great political minds of our time.