It's finally here. Election Day 2012. After months of sitting through the interminable television ads for candidates, chiseling out legitimate mail from our mailbox jammed with postcards from the Democrats, the Republicans, the Greens, the Reds, and political issues vying for our attention, walking and biking past lawn sign after lawn sign, listening to my mother rant about the Evil [insert political party that shall not be named]s, blocking discord mongers on my Facebook feed, and waving off pollsters at grocery stores, today I can take a nice bike ride down to the middle school, cast my vote, and be done with Election 2012.
It's not all over but the shoutin'. I've read reports where we can expect recounts and charges of voter fraud before one side can claim victory. So much money has been spent on this presidential election, yet most people I talk to are voting to prevent "the other guy" from winning or they're picking the candidate who's least objectionable to their beliefs and values. I've yet to meet anyone who's genuinely crazy (in a good way!) about their candidate. I'm not someone who believes one party or presidential candidate is the be-all-and-end-all solution for our country's problems, but I do like to see citizens charged up for change. It feels like people have, I don't know -- given up? don't give a rat's ass? -- about who gets in because we're heading for another four years of Been There, Done That, Drank the KoolAid. In fact, I know a few folks who've grown so apathetic and discouraged they're not even bothering to vote this election.
I'm always curious how other countries view our election process and what they think of our candidates. The Guardian has a geographic roundup of perceptions of U.S. presidential candidates. Bottom line: the apathy I've noticed on the domestic front crosses international borders.
What do you think of the U.S. elections this year? Are you ready for election season to be over already? Hopeful for the future? Add your comment below.
Meanwhile, I do have an election first: I'll be biking over to the polls instead of driving. :)