I approach this post with a bit of trepidation, mostly because I feel like a bit of a novice trying to get some chops in a room full of well-seasoned players. But chopping I am.
Tina and I finished watching the New Hampshire debate this evening. Something about this election has really got our attention, and I think that can be said about many younger voters in our country (though we are very quickly approaching a time where we can no longer be considered a part of that group). It is an exiting race for many reasons--and we're into it (and not, I might add, necessarily in agreement).
I point to this post to establish my own current political status and/or standing. I am not willing anymore to be attached easily with a certain party or politically blanketed organization. I am frustrated by what I see as the political band-wagoning that occurs around the hot-button moral issues that divide the parties. I think that its nearly impossible to be aligned with all of the issues within a given party, and am generally turned off when I encounter voters who think that it is that simple. Granted, there was a reason that parties were organized—and I imagine, as I get my chops, the reasons for those party convergences will become more clear to me, but generally speaking, I have a tough time seeing the connection between (for example) a desire to keep taxes low and the right to life—they’re both “conservative” though. I’m just trying to figure out how.
Not only have I not decided who I am going to vote for in the primaries (though I know I have to vote in the primary of the party I am currently registered under), I have not decided yet whether “party” will have anything whatsoever to do with who I vote for in November where it’s open season, as it were. I feel a bit uneasy being aligned with any party, actually. Maybe this is the result of the apathy that is so common among us under-30s. But, even as my apathy begins to slide away (and my 30th birthday quickly approaches), I am not yet convinced that either team represents enough of my budding sense of personal "views." I'm glad, really, that I have remained unsure--it feels more honest to me than to have jumped on any bandwagon, despite what is on my current voter-card.
Truth is, I just loved watching the same-party members debate. I thought it was profoundly interesting to see members of the same team hash out the huge differences of principle and policy that exist within that team. I think that in watching those debates, we can get a glimpse of the complexities that underpin the issues that we might normally consider simple. The issues are not simple. So I am having some fun being the audience of these candidates’ rhetoric. My request is simple: Persuade me. I’m open.