I ran a big stack of idealism through the paper shredder today. I sat down with my absentee ballot and an internet connection and proceeded to Google every single name. 58 names. And my ballot is still blank.
See, the questions were easy. They were all asking for money. One even actually directly affected me--a request for higher education bonds that would pay for a new chemistry building at my school. Of course, I voted no. That's power, people. I felt powerful.
But I felt helpless over the rest of the ballot. There was no way, no way at all I could know everything necessary to make an informed decision about for whom to vote.
I'm not sure what's worse: completing an arrow based on shoddy first impressions and deceptive campaign jargon? Or not voting at all. I really don't understand how anyone has the capacity to vote without hypocrisy. Except, perhaps, the candidates themselves.
I hate seeing my idealism in papery shreds on the floor. I feel stupid. Cynical, jaded. And I'm only a youth! No, it's okay, really, mostly I just feel badly about my self-righteous indignation at my perception of apathy in the voting pool. Now, I just feel empathy. Voting is hard.