Final thoughts on the election. And VOTE on Tueasday.
By Gregory Jacobs-Roseman (Composer-Lyricist)
One September evening in 2008 I was in a bar on Avenue A enjoying some Friday night drinks with friends. The night was nothing out of the ordinary for a Friday, and yet something happened that I’ll always remember. The conversation turned to politics and the upcoming election. This was mere days after the introduction of Sarah Palin at the RNC and just before Leeman Brothers was to declare bankruptcy, heralding the upcoming financial collapse. In the news media, everyone was up in arms about whether or not then Senator Obama’s use of the phrase “lipstick on a pig” was a sexist slur directed at then Governor Palin.
There were two individuals – friends of friends I had not met before this evening – who wanted Obama to win but were convinced that voting for him wouldn’t matter.
“The Republicans are going to steal the election like they always do. What’s the point?” Said one of them.
These kids were in their mid-twenties, so when you put it in context you can hardly blame them. The last two election cycles that were freshest in their memories were decided under dubious conditions. In 2004 there were allegations of rigged voting machines in Ohio, and in 2000, well, we all remember how that whole thing went down. As a result, these guys had lost all faith in the system. At a time when enthusiasm among young voters was sky high, these guys could care less.
I was astonished. I argued with them, imploring them not to take their right to vote so lightly, but I could tell that my pleas were falling on deaf ears. In the end, Obama did indeed win, and I hope that when that happened those two guys, wherever they were, saw that sometimes conspiracy theories are nonsense, and not everything is a foregone conclusion.
On Tuesday we all have a choice to make. A choice I hope you will take very seriously. The fact of the matter is nothing’s certain, and many issues hang in the balance this year.
The constitution puts many limits on the power of the President. The executive and legislative branches are supposed to be separate and coequal. If an opposition congress simply refuses to do what the President asks, then nothing will get done. In addition, the President has little control when the economy of a European country collapses, sending shockwaves through the global markets and hurting us here at home. But make no mistake, the President has vast power over the direction of the country, perhaps most importantly he will pick the next Supreme Court. Four of the nine current Supreme Court justices are 74-years-old or older, which means the next President will most likely select at least one new justice whose decisions on anything from abortion to gay rights to campaign finance will remain in place for generations.
This Tuesday, when you go to vote (and you WILL vote if you’re old enough – it’s mandatory for all Crazytown readers), remember what’s at stake.
GREGORY JACOBS-ROSEMAN is a composer/lyricist and theatrical sound designer currently developing Save The Date: A New Musical Comedy. www.gregjr.com
EMAIL HIM | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | OTHER POSTS BY THIS AUTHOR