Monday, February 25, 2008

Voting Schmoting.

I'm a big fan of voting. I say it's a right that none of us have an excuse NOT to exercise. If your voting rights are intact (meaning, you're not a convicted felon and you're an actual US citizen), vote. Vote.

I'm from Texas. If you asked any non-Texan (or native Texan) to name off a list of Texas stereotypes, you might hear a few of the following: cowboy hats, horses, riding a horse to school (or work), conservative. Christian. Republican.

I, however, grew up in a home of all things Democrat. There were portraits of all of the Democratic presidents hanging in the hallway. For vacation one year, we went to Austin to visit the Lyndon B. Johnson library and museum. We lived on a street where during election time the yards were lined with campaign signs for whatever Republican candidate was running. And then there was our house. Sporting the "Dukakis '88" or "Clinton/Gore '96" sign. Many of these signs mysteriously went missing from time to time. Or were ripped up and scattered in pieces in our yard. My stepdad was (is) a hard-working, working-class man, with a deep commitment to his political party that prides itself on its commitment to the working-class people. As a kid in middle and high school I was the ONLY kid I knew whose parents did not vote in the REPUBLICAN primaries. I hated it.

When I was finally old enough to participate in a presidential election, the year was 2000. I voted absentee in county and city elections that year (I was off at college) and I registered to vote as a Republican... yes. Merely as an act of defiance to my stepdad (Um, I'm sorry Dad Tony!! Those were my reasons!). I happily marched to the polling place and cast my vote for George W. Bush. I felt like such a grown-up. And I felt like such a rebel.

And then there was the 2004 election year. If you don't know it about me, I actually was employed by Bush-Cheney '04, and spent 2 years of my life doing work for the reelection campaign. I got to meet the President, the First Lady, and The Vice President, along with some other very interesting people. I was living history and couldn't believe that I had landed such a fascinating job right after having graduated from college. A job so many others would have given anything to have. It was hard work. I was committed to my work. I enjoyed my work.

And now here we are. It's 2008. And we're deep in the throes of another election year. Names are being called. Attacks are being made. And I have no idea who I am voting for. The other 2 presidential elections in which I participated were easy for me. The first year I voted Republican because it was the opposite of what I'd been raised to do (that's what happens sometimes when you're 20). In 2004, I voted my convictions and what my convictions were at the time.

The problem is (actually it's NOT a problem!) that I am a different person now than I was 4 years ago. I've grown, stretched, changed, and have been challenged to new ways of thinking in many areas of my life. I like the person I have become... the person that God shapes me to be. So now I have to figure out how all of that will play out for me in this election year. For as I've already mentioned, I'm all about voting.

I did a tricky thing when I moved to Kentucky. Billy and I went to register to vote a while back as Kentuckians, and I (perhaps in another act of defiance?) registered as an Independent. I just couldn't commit either way. Democrat. Republican. I'm just me.

So... here's to research! And here's hoping that by November I'll have made up my mind.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

well, Kelly, I did just hear that Ralph Nadar threw his hat in this race, today, as an Independent....so there you go. (and please tell your Dad/Tony that we Rice's are ALL about and for the working class folk, yay)!!

LizRice

Anonymous said...

i'm commenting!! and i love it! haha...perfect.
You're little sister is SO excited to vote for the first time...
:) :)
OBAMA 08!

love,
kathy

KellyLawson22 said...

Ralph Nader. I remember during the 2000 election when he was (as always) running for president. I saw Pearl Jam in concert that year, and Eddie Vedder was stumbling around on stage giving his perpetual endorsement for ol' Ralph. Eddie is cool & all... but endorsement or not, I think I'll pass. Again. :)

And Kathy-- you're the best sister ever. Thanks for the love! Wish you could have been with me in Cincinnati today!

Arch said...

Kelly, i understand completely. my household was hardcore democrats and in believing my 'christian' friends had a better handle on who god would want us to vote for (which i now feel is crapola), i was a bush voter in 2004. in 2000 i felt deeply led NOT to vote and to pray for the outcome of the race then low and behold florida and the hanging chads occurred. this past summer jeff lyles loaned me a book by obama and i was intrigued. that book got me (and ultimately amy deeply involved in the presidential race back in august. after many many hours of reading, watching debates, and really digging into what each candidate stands on each issue and what separates them i've settled on obama. needless to say that is not the most popular vote in west texas since there are a good deal of people who base their political knowledge on forwarded emails claiming obama is a muslim and won't say the pledge, along with other retarded allegations. hope your research goes well!! glad you're committed to actually doing research and not just reading forwards :~)

Shannon said...

I love this post Kelly! I'm so glad we got to go hear Obama speak yesterday. Aside from just having a great time with a friend, I enjoyed hearing what Barack had to say. As you said, there's more research that needs to be done, but at least there's an opportunity to find what we're looking for. I feel so at home commenting here, among Texans who are not generic Obama-haters because of those emails Jason mentioned. Anyway, great post!

Scott Martin said...

Comment.

Scott Martin said...

I'M an independent. This is in revolt to the Nebraskan Methodists liberals, and my ultra-conservative family.

Amen.

Comment.

Scott Martin said...

Making up for lost comments.

Comment.

KellyLawson22 said...

Scott, you're hysterical. I saw that I had 8 comments and thought, "Who the heck has commented? A lot of people! Cool!" Turns out 3 were from you, but they were funny so it's okay.

Shannon said...

Woah...you went purple! I like it!

Neener said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who hasn't made their mind up about the presidential elections.

This will be my first year to vote (if I remember to register!) so I've been keeping up with the race more than I have before (which is easy since I was politically indifferent).

One thing I've been battling with is if my vote should reflect my own morals and "what would benefit me?" I just wonder what would be good for our country as well as the countries that deal with us.

And some rebellious part of me wants to vote democrat just so I can be that weird Texan.

Spiegs said...

every day, someone asks me who i'm voting for. and interestingly, the people here are only aware of clinton and obama - probably because they are who oprah and al jazeera are talking about.

i'm already tired of the backstabbing and slandering and i don't even have to watch it on the news every day. i really hope these guys can clean it up and really focus on what's important. maybe after the primaries?

anyway, good luck in your research and if you find something good, hit me. i'm ready. we're actually going to a "town hall meeting" at the consulate on friday to find out about our absentee voting options. i was hoping there would be refreshments and a key-note speaker. i think it'll be more like 7 people in a barren classroom, but here's hoping.

love you.

Anonymous said...

OH...and one more thing; all of my new college friends call me "Lefty" because i am indeed one of the very few liberal democrats in tyler texas...but that is what i am known as to my UT tyler buds...
It's funny!
I CAN'T WAIT TILL YOU COME TO TEXAS!!!

Love,
Aunt Kat :)