With less than a week to go, the presidential race of 2012 is basically all over except for the voting – and, of course, the counting of ballots. The big influencers at this point are the polls which either will get people out to the polling locations to vote or make people realize that they have reached the election burnout point – and really don’t care enough for either candidate to pick one candidate over the other at this point.
The polls indicate that a win on either side is really possible. Therefore, finding one’s way to the polling booth may be well-worth the trip if one truly wants to see one candidate win over the other. The more negative attitude of “who cares” doesn’t seem to be out there as strongly as it has been in past presidential elections, but it’s still there. Many people care. Yet, after all the hoopla of the 2012 presidential election process, some people will remember it as the election year in which they got so extremely turned off and got such a humongous headache from the candidates, the ads, the SuperPACs, the pundits, the negativity, and – primarily – the media, that they just wouldn’t take part in the process.
While that may make non-participants feel better for the moment, it’s the long-stretch that counts. It’s worth a voter’s time for the voter to think over what really does matter to him and make a private decision on which candidate can serve the country – and him – the best. Forget the pressure cast upon you by family, co-workers, neighbors, and do what you know is right. Vote your conscience. Nobody knows who you really voted for anyway after you pull the lever, punch the button, mark the X, or whatever.
Forget the media’s self-served promotions of various issues and candidates. Forget political groups’ single-issue promotions regarding things that probably don’t mean anything to you at the end of the day anyway. Consider yourself – and, just as importantly, consider the country. If you’re disgusted with the way things are, vote for the change many feel the country needs. If you find things going just the way you want them for you and your family, vote for more of the same.
It’s the old question that hit-home so resoundingly when President Ronald Reagan was running for office: Are you better off than you were four years ago? Only you can answer that question.
Now, it’s also the question: Is the country better off than it was four years ago? Anyone – including you – can answer that question. No, the country is definitely not better off than it was four years ago.
So, the reality is that based on that last question alone, it’s worth taking time to vote for a real “change” like we were promised but never got last time around. Confess – be honest with yourself. We need that “change” – a change from the past four years of governing – more than ever. Go vote.
About Scott Paulson
Scott Paulson writes political commentary for Examiner.com and teaches English at a community college in the Chicago area. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.