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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

COLUMN: I’m a Little Confused

I am a very confused individual. On November 2 I’ll walk into a voting booth in Lynn and make a very important decision. I know many people say that a vote doesn’t count, but a vote is more than that.

It’s my sole opportunity to contribute to the democratic process. But Jay, doesn’t the Electoral College decide who’s going to be president? Well yes, but that’s not my contribution.

I vote because it means something to me. It means that someone will know what I think. I want people to know what I think. I want people to know that I don’t like George W. Bush’s foreign policy. I want people to know that I think John Kerry doesn’t stand for what he believes in. I want people to know that I’m tired of the government taking all my money then telling me I make too much to get any financial aid. I want my tax money used to provide our soldiers with top-of-the-line body armor.

I want to be able to argue with people who say they hate George W. Bush, because they don’t like HIM and have no idea about his policies. I want to be able to debate with people who say that John Kerry’s keen ability to flip-flop shows that he can evolve (um, okay, sure). I want to be able to argue with people who say George W. Bush’s tax cuts benefit the economy (’cause I know when my family got that big $300 check back, all our financial problems disappeared.).

These are all reasons I vote. Frankly, I think neither candidate should be the next president. But I feel I have to vote, I just have to. I don’t want to just give up my right to put my stamp on things, and that’s what it comes down to, it’s my right to vote.

I want to say that I know who I’m voting for, but I don’t. I want to say that there’s a candidate out there who understands where I’m coming from, who understands my perspective of politics. But, again, there isn’t.

I really don’t want George W. Bush to be my president. Seeing how I don’t want Bush that should make my choice clear right? But lo and behold, I don’t want Kerry either (and don’t get carried away, hippies, this isn’t a declaration of a vote for Ralph Nader).

You see this is my confusion, and it’s the worst kind: my vote is something that is very important to me, it’s not just a ballot, it’s a representation of me and neither of these men represents me.

Kerry vs. Bush; a rich guy from Massachusetts versus a rich guy from Texas. I feel patronized by the entire situation. I mean, neither of these guys has lived paycheck to paycheck. Hell, neither of them had to pay for their own books, let alone college tuition. So I pose the question to both men: how do you know what will make my life better if you don’t know what my life is about?

In two weeks I will arrive at my polling station and settle myself comfortably to vote and face the massive confusion of deciding who my choice for president will be. I don’t know who I’ll pick, all I know is that neither candidate knows me, neither candidate cares about me, and neither candidate knows what I’m capable of. Because on November 2, one thing is for sure, they will hear me. Whether they like it or not, they will hear my voice.

Jay Upton is a Mass Media columnist. He can be reached at [email protected]