Tuesday, 8 November 2016

the times they are a-changing

Copyright: <a href='http://www.123rf.com/profile_rukanoga'>rukanoga / 123RF Stock Photo</a>
It's the day before the night that will be. For us in the UK,  we are mere bystanders to the US election process but will undoubtedly be affected in some way to its result.

And so we watch and wait.  Discussions have paused briefly from the Brexit fallout to decipher who is the best candidate to be (adopts TV Drama American voice) the leader of the free world.

Similarly to my own experience standing in the ballot box for our own elections this year; pen wavering over a list of names belonging to a plethora of people I didn't want to choose.  So what to do? Close my eyes and drop the pen on a random name?

No. I'm Black. There are far too many anti-people-like-me politicans on those lists. Too risky.

Go for the one I think is more likely to win and isn't too awful? Go for the one that holds at least one of my views in high regard but has no chance of winning? Screw up the ballot paper, making it invalid thereby communicating my mistrust of all candidates (or indeed my inadequate admin ability)?

Having listened to various Americans on the news over the last year, many seem to be in the same position as I was. Hearing the phrases 'best of a bad choice' or 'lesser of two evils' pre-empting their decision, I am filled with empathy and sympathy alike. I imagine there are those who will not vote because of this. So either way there are people out there who's voices will be muted in this US election.

But the prompt asked if voting was a moral imperative. I have been known to lecture my classes, my kids, anyone who deigns suggest that they won't bother to vote, that we all have a moral obligation to vote. Our Xs in boxes momentarily resurrect the souls that fought to gain this honour.

Therefore if I was faced with an unsatisfactory ballot selection, I would forget about the cult of personality, ditch the media's prismatic influence and do my research on the policies that the party of the candidate believe in.  Then clutching the one, big issue that was close to my heart and values, I would force myself to vote. 

Good Luck America.

This post was inspired by #post40bloggers #writingprompt no36: voting-a moral imperative?