October 29, 2004

Will this be another all-nighter?

My guess is this election will run a tad late next Tuesday evening. I’m a bit excited, too as Big Al is sending me to Florida next week. I may very well be in the middle of the action. I am little sad I won’t get to see it all go down with Mr. X., though. In our house, politics are akin to a sports event.

So, I did cast my vote earlier this week and did throw it in Kerry’s path. I voted mostly Democratic down the board for three reasons. Right or wrong they may well be, but here they are:

Pro-Choice: I don’t necessarily think abortion is the way to go when given the choice. I’ve wrestled with this issue often over the years, but just recently realized I’m pro-choice at heart and I best go with it. I firmly believe it is a personal choice. If it is made illegal, it still will NOT GO AWAY and the disparity between classes will rear its ugly head. The rich will be able to go discreetly to a highly paid doctor and the poor will be stuck again risking their lives on someone’s kitchen table.

Gay Marriage: It infuriates me when straight people declare that gay marriage will threaten the holiness and integrity of the sacred institution called marriage. HUH? Judging from the epidemic of divorces already occurring, I say give the gays a chance. Surely, they couldn’t muck it up much worse than we straight people already have.

The World’s Perception of the US.: I first faced anti-American sentiment nearly 15 years ago when I become very involved in the Muslim community at my university. While Bush did not create this current hatred, he did give it a face. Now, I don’t imagine Kerry is a silver bullet (it would take a few more Presidencies for the US to become the Muslims World’s New Bestest Friend EVER). However, I do believe that if Kerry is elected, it will help to a send a more positive message of Americans. We are not all Islam-hating war-mongers. Some of us actually understand that Islam is a beautiful religion that has been sadly and absurdly corrupted by a group of wackos. Sigh.

Now to the local issues. The primary reason I vote is really for the local elections. Let’s face it, Kansas is heavily Republican and my vote won’t count since Bush will get all the electoral votes (Down with the Electors!! Up with the People!!). However, my family has always been very involved in the politics of my city and I have seen first-hand that you can at least make a difference on a local level. For this election, there were several local issues of concern to me:

Bi-State Tax: The stadiums reside in Jackson County, Missouri. I reside in Kansas. Why should I pay for their stadiums? My state doesn’t get the revenue. I am behind Jackson County residents on the list for tickets and I have to pay more for certain things because I am not a resident of said County. Yes, the rumor is that half the tax would go to the arts, but frankly, I haven’t seen proof that will actually happen and George Brett’s smiling mug on TV isn’t going to convince me otherwise. Ultimately, the residents of Jackson County reap the benefits from the stadiums. Let them pay for it.

Sunday Liquor Sales: I voted for this, not out of convenience, but rather practicality. Surrounding cities already have Sunday sales, why should my city lose the potential sales tax revenue to them? I’m quite proud that even my teetotaler Grandma and great-aunt agreed with my logic when presented to them. (Did it change their vote? Probably not. But at least they agreed - that’s HALF the battle)

Tax Continuance for City Parks: I believe having nicer parks makes my city a nicer place to live which makes for nicer property values.

In the end, did all this voting make a difference? Maybe. Maybe not. In the end, what matters is that we simply have a SAY.

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