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October 25, 2012

I know it's been a little while since I made my last blog entry, but I have good reasons. I've been really busy with high school marching band, and I've also been building a recording studio in my apartment for a little project that I'll probably have more to say about at a later date. Anyway, I did want to make at least one blog entry for this month, so I decided to cover a topic that's been on my mind for a while. But first, here is a screen capture I took of where an advertisement and an article picture happened to line up in a funny way.

Unless you live under a rock, you know that there is a big election going on in the U.S.A. This madness descends upon America every four years, but this time it seems especially heavy. I don't live in a swing state, but I do live just north of the Virginia border, and most of our local TV stations are out of DC, so I've seen the worst of the advertisements (or best, depending out how you look at it). Although I do my fair share of mocking the President, I must admit that I'm a huge Obama supporter. Please don't stop reading. I also admit that, after watching the debates and learning more about Romney, I can totally understand why somebody would want to support him too. Regardless of who wins, the sun will rise and the world will still be spinning on November 7th.

It's December 21st that you really need to worry about.

Which brings me to the importance of voting. I want every eligible citizen of the U.S.A. to vote in this election, regardless of who they intend to vote for. Heck, vote for Jill Stein if you want, just vote. As much as I want Obama to win, I want it to be a fair win, and it just doesn't seem right with less than two-thirds turnout. Everybody has a set of beliefs and opinions rolling around in their heads, but think about how few opportunities we have to actually act on our beliefs in a meaningful way. Voting, as imperfect as it may be, really is one of those few opportunities. Look, I know politicians mess an awful lot of things up. I grew up in Maryland and live in West Virginia; I know how corrupt the Democrats can get given the opportunity. The reason I'm a Democrat is because, in the process of messing things up, I think they're the most likely party to do a little bit of what I want (and, by the way, I don't intend to vote a straight ticket). I'm also under no illusions about the power of my vote for Obama in West Virginia. This is a state in which a prison inmate got 40% against Obama in the primary. You can interpret that however you like. No, because of our ridiculous electoral college system, my vote for Obama is nothing more than a nice gesture. But I can also vote for people who will cooperate with Obama if he is reelected, or at least support causes that are important to me if Romney wins. I strongly encourage everybody of all political stripes to find politicians you can feel that way about. You don't have to think they're perfect--just pick people you think are most likely to do what's important to you, even if they're in an obscure third party. After all, politicians work for the people who elected them, and if you never vote then they'll never work for you.

So, do you think Obama is doing a pretty good job under the circumstances? Good, here, drink some electric kool-aid and join me on election day. Does my support for Obama piss you off? Even better. Go ahead, vote for Romney, I double-dog-dare ya. Either way, vote, vote, VOTE! (and don't forget your picture ID.) Oh, and one more thing...

If you liked this article, you may also enjoy reading Welcome to Band Camp: A Primer.

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Copyright 2012 Peter J Hopkins. All Rights Reserved.