*Taking this down before the week ends.
2020 marks the first time that I can vote. And admittedly, it is a strange time to become an eligible citizen. While the nominee for the Democratic Party has not been determined, the candidate will inevitably go up against Donald Trump in an election that will undoubtedly be marked in collective chaos.
This upcoming week, I will bear witness to a primary unfolding across South Carolina, on a college campus no less. Candidates have already swoon in for their last-minute pitches, and I hold no doubt that people will campaign across the state to convert the dedicated and sway the undecided. I already saw a truck projecting Tom Steyer campaign material, and chances are there’ll be more to come.
I genuinely considered switching my voter registration to South Carolina to vote on Saturday (Connecticut doesn’t have open primaries). It is not a particularly tough process, only requiring one to fill out a form and submit it to a local registration office.
But I’m not gonna lie: I would not vote for any of these candidates. More specifically, I lack any semblance of motivation to support these individuals. Out of the seven viable candidates left, there’s only one person that I would even consider voting for. Not that I would say who right now, because they still don’t reflect the scope of qualifications and values I am looking for in the next president. Ask me later down the line and I might open up :). Therefore, I will be waiting until the general elections in November to cast a vote.
This also considers the fact that I am not voting for Donald Trump in November, ruling out a vote for the two major nominees. Admittedly, this sentiment is also rooted in a significant distaste for the state of the Democratic and Republican parties as a whole.
At the same time, I want that first vote of mine to go towards something that I can remember for years to come. In the grand scheme of things, my vote probably doesn’t make too much of a difference. I staunchly believe, however, that a vote can be representative of your voice, no matter how big or small.
But I already hear the cries looming from the other side of the screen: And you think Keanu Reeves would be any better?!
Yes and no. Reeves carries the humility and temperament to inspire people the world over, and his quiet charisma could prove to be a powerful force for the betterment of society. Despite that, I doubt that he wants to be the president of the United States, and I would be disingenuous if I said this wasn’t in some part a meme (tl;dr he isn’t eligible to be president).
Honestly, I could substitute Reeves for a bunch of other people outside the realm of politics. In the end, it all serves the same purpose: a rejection of the current state of affairs in America.
In particular, it is a rejection of the voting system that enables a two-party dichotomy to undercut the opportunities to the unaffiliated. Americans have been told to choose between the Democratic and Republican nominees for decades, and voting for any other candidate would constitute a “wasted vote”. In the 2016 elections, enough people were compelled to vote between “the lesser of two evils”.
How did we reach a point of such intense disconnect between the American people and the American government? How did polarization of ideology become so poisonous in such a short span of time? How is the public trust in Washington D.C. abysmally low?
The lines between truth are blurring, and the irritations of dissonance are rising with each passing day. So many of our lives are becoming entangled within an ideological Hunger Games with no end in sight. It is consuming our minds, instilling false hope, and distracting us from the true issues that necessitate change.
Personally, Keanu Reeves represents a haven. A haven that embodies hope and clarity against the raging storms of chaos and anger. While I know his chances of becoming the president are next to zero, I think writing in a candidate not on the ballot serves my best interest. It would not only be a memorable proposition to those I tell, but it could spark new conversations about the foundations of our democracy.
My intentions are not to undermine the reasons that my acquaintances are supporting other candidates. Rather, I want to highlight a perspective that often goes unnoticed in the midst of the electoral system. My goal is to engage with people on such issues in order to both learn and inform. This article might not remain open to the public, but I can only hope that it provoked some food for thought for even a single person.
Either way, I have never been so excited to vote this November. It’ll be a breathtaking experience 😉