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Election Day, and I couldn’t care less

By   |  November 5, 2008

Classes being skipped, by students and professors both… a pervasive sense of excitement and and glee, with a generous dose of expectation thrown into the mix… free coffee and ice-cream… no, its not a holiday, its Election Day!  And I really couldn’t care less.

That isn’t to mean I don’t understand the importance of the day.  I do.  I just don’t understand the whole ethos of the thing, here on campus, across the country, and even around the world.  I haven’t been following blogs, and I didn’t watch CNN all day yesterday, as the numbers slowly poured in.  With all of the electoral shenanigans we’ve come to expect over the past 8 years, it seemed less than pointless to follow all of the ups and downs of election coverage (in hindsight, the voting process seems to have been undertaken relatively smoothly this time).  I certainly didn’t jump into the line for free ice-cream in front of the bookstore.  I voted – last week, with an absentee ballot – and the thing was over as far as I was concerned.

I don’t hold it against anybody for being excited about the election, Democrats especially.  After years of being on the losing team, it must feel great to finally be able to hold up your head as though you just KO’ed  Apollo Creed.  I can’t believe there’s anybody out there for whom this outcome was anything like a surprise, though.  Obama’s had this in the bag for a long time now, even gaffes like choosing Biden as a running mate notwithstanding.  And even disregarding the national outcome, California’s Democratic victory was practically a given.  So, its really hard to muster enthusiasm for what was essentially a forgeone conclusion.  On the other hand, I do look at things like the aforementioned free ice cream and coffee as incentives to vote with some distaste – the idea of “rewarding” the responsible boys and girls for performing their civic duty with sweets and goodies just seems so… undignified, like a kind of Palovian conditioning.  I feel vaguely insulted at the idea that people my age should need to have some incentive for voting beyond participating in the democratic process.  I suppose its a step above all of the insipid “Vote-or-Die” campaigns we had last time around, and you can’t argue against the long line I had to cut across to get through the plaza.

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