One less vote won’t make a difference

A year ago on my way to the polling place, I suffered an accident that resulted in chipping two front teeth. Now Invariably, voting always feels like a kick in the mouth. Unfortunately, the campaigns and the candidates themselves do nothing to lessen the pain. From start to finish, the whole thing has become an unseemly spectacle.

Not to be misconstrued as pessimistic or unpatriotic, but to give you some background, I was 17-years-old during the 2008 presidential election.

Not that I condone voting based on ethnicity, but being half Irish and half black, and having the opportunity to witness the first biracial president in the Oval office, I would have given anything to have been able to vote back then.

Now, a mere four years later and at the risk of sounding nihilistic, I don’t see the point in voting anymore.

During the 2012 presidential debates, there were broadcasts available where the viewer could see immediate positive or negative reactions to each candidate, which completely threw me off because I didn’t need to see others’ responses to the debate. I don’t remember the debate being a spectator sport, but I find it hard to generate motivation to vote when the whole experience feels cheapened.

Voting should empower the voter with a sense of accomplishment and not diminish their will because of others’ opinions. That sense of accomplishment will always be fleeting though, because in another four years, we’ll be damning the very savior we chose four years earlier.

As an average American, it can be hard to find the relevance in voting these days. A reality that never becomes clear until you actually try not voting.

Despite the old adage, every vote doesn’t count, and the presidential election will never be decided by one lone vote.

I’m not the only one who feels that way. Miriam Vasquez, Santa Monica College student said, “I wanted to vote, but I feel my vote wouldn’t make a difference. Despite my efforts to make a change, it’s not going to pass.”

On Nov. 7, whether you voted or not, President Barrack Obama was re-elected. Some of your friends will act as though the world narrowly avoided a big disaster, while others will sulk every time they hear the state of the union address.

Voting is a right and I have the right to withhold my vote if I so choose. For politically minded or active students, it can often be hard to fathom how some students such as myself can appear so apathetic towards democracy. After all, the youth is all about their freedom to be heard.

I advocate democracy, not necessarily voting or our elections in its current state. Just as there are Americans who are impassioned to vote, and have millions of reasons for voting, there are Americans who feel just as strongly for not voting, and both should be accepted.

Both of my parents are voting and are disappointed that I did not vote this year, in the first presidential election in which I am eligible to vote, but I had made my choice.

I just can’t shake the feeling that the campaigns remind me of professional wrestling; the theatrics, the mudslinging, the massive displays of bravado. Except fortunately, or unfortunately, depending upon whom you ask, everything is not scripted.

I have to remind myself every now and then that the outcome isn’t predetermined. I yearn for the days when a candidate’s stance on the issues got more coverage then his tweets.

The beauty of living in America is you have the ability to vote every four years, so you can vote whenever you feel compelled, but when the drive isn’t there anymore, then clearly the election season is off on the wrong foot.

I’ll feel confident to vote when voting is no longer trivialized to celebrity publicity stunts, or as a trendy thing to do, but an actual important right to practice as a citizen.