Vote for Me—Write-In ‘08
by L. Arthalia Cravin
I have a gardening friend who lives in Fountain, Colorado. A few days ago I called to ask how her garden was coming along, given the lack of rain and terrible high winds. She told me that she had gotten a virtual flood ( whereas I, 15 miles away, got only a drop or two) and that because of all the mud in her garden she had not planted anything, not even beets and spinach—the cool weather plants.
After we discussed the woes of our fellow-gardeners all of whom seem to be struggling to get anything to even emerge from the soil this year, she, not me, turned the topic to politics. She then said that she did not see much choice in the upcoming election and that quite a few people she knew were going to write-in their own names. She then asked the strangest question, “What if nobody voted?” I said that’s not possible because at least four people will vote—the candidates and their wives—which would throw the election into the hands of the Supreme Court again. After we had a good laugh she again indicated that lots of people are seriously considering two options—to vote for themselves or to stay at home.
I have been thinking about my friend’s “vote for me” option wondering if it had any real merit. The whole idea seems ludicrous until I heard someone use this expression, “Your House is more important than the White House.” The comment was made by a commentator on the current recession (for some)/depression (for others). What the commentator said made a lot of sense after I gave it some serious thought. No matter who is, or has ever been in the White House, what goes on each day in the millions of households across America is of far more importance than what happens in the White House. What the statement really meant is that there is something of a real disconnect between political matters and the average household matters—going to work, paying bills, raising kids, looking for work, handling our pains and ailments, going to church, getting along with neighbors, doing the lawn, paying the plumber, paying for health care and dental care and feeding the dog. During the course of the day, the average person probably spends only one smidgeon of his waking or sleeping hours wondering about what is going on in the White House. And so, when the election is over whoever wins will take up residence in the White House for the next four years and engage in some variation of what all the prior presidents have done, individually and collectively. By the same token, in Our Houses, we will continue to do what we have individually and collectively done before, during, and after the election.
If “Our House” is more important than the White House I think, as the saying goes, “therein lies the rub.”. If our collective houses are the source of true power, why do we hand our power over to someone who occupies the White House for a short stint? Why have we bought into the idea that whoever occupies the White House will make any real difference in what happens in Our House? As my friend suggested, maybe a “Vote for Me,” would mean that each person is willing to stand up and say “I am, we are,” collectively in control. Wouldn’t this set a new precedent for politics? I think it could turn the whole structure and meaning of politics upside down. It could also have vast and far reaching implications for a wide array of other areas—such as gas prices, education, food prices, and healthcare costs. If all of us collectively voted for “me” as a symbolic protest against distant and ineffective government, I think we could finally get some somebody’s attention in the White House. I’m seriously considering voting for me.
© Copyright 2008 – L. Arthalia Cravin. All rights Reserved. No part of this commentary may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the author.