In my life I have only really known 2 presidents. I was born under the first Bush, and raised under Clinton and the GWB. I don't remember much about Clinton as president. I do remember being gathered in the auditorium of my elementary school in 4th grade and listening to the principal explain to us that the president of the United States had done a bad thing, and now they might not let him be president any more.
In 6th grade we read magazine interviews with Bush and Gore and picked our candidates based on the fact that Gore liked strawberry yogurt too. I was still in elementary school (it was a k-6) and as the oldest grade we got to perform a mock debate for the entire school. I was assigned to argue GWB's economic policies. ironic, huh? We didn't find out who won the election until December, and I remember exactly where I was when I found out that he would be our president. My soon to be middle school principal told me, at 6 am, while we were on our 6th grade camping trip. I almost cried.
In 2004 I was in 10th grade and taking AP gov and politics. This time I picked my candidate for more sound reasons, as in, he was not GWB. Our class often erupted in debates about all sorts of issues surrounding the election, I wrote an essay about why the electoral college should be abolished and wrote responses to the debates. Our teacher had life-size cut outs of Bush and Kerry. On election day we had off from school and I spent the day campaigning for the Kerry campaign.
Now, in 2008 I finally get to vote. And the election is exciting, first off, there will be no Bush on the ticket, and second the dems may actually have a shot at taking the white house. Now, in 2008 I am in college, I watch the debates in my on campus apartment, while trying to get my schoolwork done and trying not to think about the failing economy and the debt me and my parents are acquiring so that I can attend the second most expensive school in the country. And I am at a loss. I watch the debates and I am excited by the prospect of Obama in the white house, but my heart is not in it. I sent in the form and my absentee ballot should arrive any day now, and then, I will have to decide, who do I vote for. I can guarantee you it will not be McCain. But I have to decide, to vote with my heart, or to vote with my head. If I follow my heart then I know that niether of the major party candidates support what I support, or care about the things that I care about. And I will cast my vote for Cynthia McKinney, because atleast when she speaks her words resonate in my head, and I find my self agreeing, not just saying, well at least its better then McCain. And yet, everything/everyone else tells me to vote with my head. Pennsylvania is a swing state, and I keep hearing not to split the democratic vote. At the same time, i remember myself when I was young, as I watched the elections, and I think, what will I tell my children when they are 11, and 15, and 19. I want to be able to be proud of my vote, the one freedom I still have. I want to say that I cast a vote for something I believed in.
I probably won't know who I am voting for until my ballot comes in the mail... but hopefully it is a choice I will be able to make....
they say that each citizen of a nation is responsible for that nations actions... how do I vote responsibly?