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I can’t value my vote if I don’t have faith in the system

Why do we sit through the political ads every four years? Why do we bother with the supporters on the street corner holding signs telling you to honk if you support so-and-so? What’s the point?

The toga-clad characters on the Plaza pushing voting registration forms in your face, and the supporters, and the political ads — they’re all looking for one thing: Your vote.

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On Nov. 6, you’re going to be asked to place your vote for our next president. Some people are ecstatic about this prospect, trying to see some tangible change from their vote this November.

As for me, I don’t think that this whole election season is worth it. Voting isn’t necessarily all it’s cracked up to be.

Before the hate mail starts, reminding me how blessed I am to live in a democracy, let me say this: I know that I am so unbelievably lucky to live in a country in which I get the opportunity to cast a vote for who I want in charge.

I am fully aware that there are so many countries out there fighting for the privileges that we, as Americans, have. I understand that, and am thankful for that.

However, I am realistic about politics. When it comes to voting, it has gotten to the point where all I am doing is researching and eventually choosing the lesser of two evils.

To be honest, I don’t have any faith in either candidate; I don’t believe that either of them have the power or insight to help our country in the ways we need. Politics has gotten to the point where it is more about party affiliation and sticking to that party’s beliefs than to your own.

And because I don’t have belief in the political system, I don’t have much belief in the voting system either. It’s hard for me to think that my vote makes a difference, when I don’t have faith in the system that my vote is contributing to.

This is not to say that I won’t vote. I will fulfill my “democratic duty” and fill out my ballot. However, when I’m through with the whole voting process, I will not send that ballot in with any hope that I am making a difference. Because, after all, I’m just choosing the one I dislike less.

Neither of the candidates this year have run a clean campaign, neither have been consistently assertive, neither have stuck to what they’ve said from the beginning. Just because, in the end, I have decided that Romney is the one who I agree with more (now there’s one you don’t hear very often), that doesn’t mean that I think he is the end-all, be–all politician.

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It’s sad, really, that I don’t have faith in the democratic system our country is founded upon. It’s sad that when I fill in the bubble next to Romney’s name, all I can think is that “well, he’s better than the other guy.”  I just refuse to believe that our forefathers had all this showboating in mind when they founded our political system.

So, when you’re considering whether or not to take the time and vote, I may be the one person saying that I don’t really think it’s worth it. If you haven’t done your research, if you don’t really know why you’re voting for a candidate, then it’s probably better if you don’t vote at all. Don’t believe the political ads, don’t believe the people that tell you that if you don’t vote for Obama, you’re racist.

Either take the time to do your research and choose the one you dislike the least, or don’t do it at all. No vote at all is better than an uneducated one.

I know that this isn’t a popular viewpoint, and many people are encouraging you to go out and fulfill your democratic duty. I’m not necessarily saying that you shouldn’t, but don’t be conned into thinking that either candidate, or your vote for that matter, is really going to make a difference. Many will call me cynical. I just think I’m being realistic.

Brittany Jordan is a sophomore Psychology major. Her column appears every other Tuesday in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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