michael j. morris


election and voting anxiety
4 November, 2008, 9:09 am
Filed under: Ontology | Tags: , ,

Dance. Meredith Monk. Pauline Oliveros. Creative Process. Research.

These are the larger words/subjects in my category and tag clouds. They seem to be the ideas on which I am dwelling.

And yet this morning I feel almost physically ill with anticipation concerning the voting that takes place today. I voted yesterday morning, waited in line for three hours, and with every bubble I filled in on my ballot I became more and more aware of my intrinsic distrust of this system, how very uncertain I am that all will be handled ethically and appropriately, whether or not my vote will even be counted. And there is absolutely no way of knowing. It comes down to a trust that I do not possess.

There is a part of me that has just as little faith in the role of the president, and the effective embodiment  of the ideals we have been told for the last however many years of campaigning. I voted third party last election, but I knew many people who did not. I even know people who voted for Bush. I had no faith in him as a candidate or executive officer, but they did, and that faith was disappointed. I worry that no matter who is elected today our faith in these candidates will be disappointed.

Besides the presidential election that has my stomach in knots, there is the issue of Proposition * in California. For those of you who don’t know, a fairly succinct and accurate explanation from Wikipedia:

“Proposition 8 is an initiative state constitutional amendment on the 2008 California General Election ballot, titled Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry.[1][2] If passed, the proposition will “change theCalifornia Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry in California.”[3] A new section would be added stating “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” 

 

This is a landmark decision. It was a landmark for marriage to be legalized for same-sex couples in California, and that decision has spurned a bitter struggle in that state. I don’t live in California. There is no one at present to whom I wish to be married. I’m not even sure of my beliefs surrounding marriage at the moment. But my anxiety surrounding this issue has to do with the world in which I live, the country to which I am expected to pledge my allegiance, which may or may not be able to pledge its allegiance to me, to my life, my future. I remember when Louisiana (the state in which I was born and raised) voted to amend the constitution to effectively ban same-sex marriage. Not that it was even legal at the time, but there were those in power who felt the need to engrave discrimination into the state constitution JUST IN CASE anyone had ideas towards legally recognizing same-sex relationships as marriage on a state level. That day a part of me that thought of Louisiana as my home died. I don’t have the time to offer an appropriate diatribe on the subject of same-sex marriage, the over-a-thousand federal rights/benefits/privileges that are afforded heterosexual couples solely on the basis of their union, and how it feels to live in that world. But this battle in California is a massive step one way or another in the course of our nation’s stance on this issue, my life, and my future. California is the most populated state in the union, it holds more electoral votes in today’s presidential election. The very fact that it is re-examining this previously awarded equality is sickening, and serves to contribute to my anxiety.

Is there something didactic in this post? Go vote.

 

-M

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