A Personal Retrospective on Voting

I was 14-years-old when George W. Bush won his re-election in 2004.

I specifically remember an aside that someone stated about an up-and-coming Senator named Barack Obama. I looked at my grandfather and said proudly, “I’m going to vote for him in 2008.”

And I did vote for him in 2008. I was so proud. I was so happy. I cried during his inauguration. I sat up straighter at school that day, looking at my Republican friends with that, “I told you so,” kind of look.

I was so full of hope. I felt like I, single-handedly, made a change with my vote. Things are going to be different in this new America.

I was obviously wrong.

I see this hope in the eyes of young Bernie supporters, and I am literally seeing the same things. They are saying the exact stuff I would say when I was all for Obama. They say this time it’s different. Sanders will make a change.

I used to think I was a progressive person. Then I started seeing Bernie supporters outright calling other candidate supporters idiots, and that they shouldn’t vote – that only intelligent, well-informed people could vote. That’s pretty horrific, given that a lot of bigots like to use that against women and other races… I even yelled at a friend of mine last year (maybe the year before) stating it was “his civic duty to vote” (he has probably heard that every single day for forever) and how dare he not vote, he was making the problem worse.

Now I understand. What is more disturbing is, when one tries to speak reason to these types of people, like someone tried to do with me when I was at that volatile age, they aren’t receptive. I don’t know how to talk to them, because it doesn’t matter if they’re liberal or conservative, they’re not interested in a dialogue. If you do get a dialogue going with them, they parrot off the same arguments over and over again. How do you get through to these people?

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