Tomorrow (or later today, if you like) I will be participating in my third presidential election, and I'll be home tomorrow night to watch the results come in. I'm pretty excited about that part; it's something I've always enjoyed. The last time, in 2008, I was working during the election results.
I was working at a bookstore that is now closed because the economy has gotten so bad.
I did not vote for Obama in 2008, and I really wasn't thrilled about either choice (mostly because I do prefer governors as presidents.) However, I especially don't like when people pretend to be what they are not. I pity those who try so hard for hipness that they lack the substance of a real personality. I didn't like Barack Obama as a candidate (and I still don't) because he carried with him that air of privilege that so pervades the career politicians in the Democratic party. Because I've found that I'm more libertarian than anything else, it didn't sit right with me. He talked about hardship when he had gone to private school; he jogged freaking everywhere; he rolled his sleeves up while talking to blue collar workers, which is something that rubs me the wrong way when baby boomer politicians do it; it reeks of falseness, like Jimmy Carter and his peanut ads in the 70s. Give me a break.
This time around, I'm supposed to care more about $9 a month birth control than keeping my job or paying my school loans back. I'm also supposed to be scared that, because I'm a woman, I have to vote for Obama because I can't take care of myself against the big bad Republican party.
Frankly, I'm insulted. I can take care of myself just fine.
What does worry me is that I've watched government get huge since 2008, and probably before. Either way, the economy hasn't gotten better, and if Obama remains the president, I don't see that changing at all. The worse an economy is, especially the way it's been molded and shaped to end up since sometime last century, the bigger government can get. Yes, that's simplistic logic, but if the American people want a hand to hold, not a person to lead, then absolute control can sneak up on you. I've seen on a very small, very personal level what can happen when local government decides that what they offer is above criticism. It's terrifying.
Back to that bookstore. I read an article the other day that put forth the idea that people like me, who self-publish, who price their work lower in order to get it into readers' hands, and who have decided to do something different than the old way, are responsible for the death of the publishing industry. We deviants will single-handedly destroy publishing and maybe books because we want to get our ideas out there for others to see without having to gain the approval of whatever intern or acquisitions editor is dealing with insomnia or maybe a hot flash that day.
I can assure you, not one of us caused that bookstore to close. Books are a luxury. In an economy where it's food vs. Stephen King, as far as your wallet's concerned, guess which one wins for most people?
Right now, my country doesn't need a buddy to hang out at the gym with. I sure as heck don't. I don't need a few people running the country and telling the majority what to do. That doesn't cut it where my book is concerned, and it certainly doesn't cut it for my country.
And that is why I will not be casting my vote for Barack Obama.