The presidential election and the preceding campaign is a complex web of he-said, she-said, he did what?, Oh no he didn’ts, I wish he dids–it’s a lot like modern dating, in a way. With each candidate trying to be every guy at any given time for any given voter. Some call it “appealing to the constituency,” when in reality it’s just courtship, or whatever is we’re calling “wooing” these days. When the candidates make their stump speeches in swing states they’re really just “hey girl”-ing the crap out of undecided voters.
Politics is a lot like love. Certain candidates have the things you need while some do not. Some agree with you on music (Hey, Mitt likes The Killers!), some mirror your stance on marriage equality (Hey, Obama!). Politics and the presidential election in 2012 is not about finding the perfect candidate, with whom you agree 100 percent, it’s about finding the one you can cohabitate happily and productively with for the next four (or eight) years. Which is exactly how love works. It’s compromises. It’s sifting through that dah of men, adding and replacing people until we find someone who is just right. We don’t just randomly allow people into our lives, just like we make candidates debate and campaign before we settle on one.
What’s missing from politics, however, that runs rampant through our love lives is options. The dating pool is endless while the candidate pool ends at Democrat or Republican and the occasional third party candidate that maybe will get some mention in the mainstream media.
But why is this? How is it we have more options for dates and brands of toilet paper than we do for who is going to lead our country? More importantly, why do we all accept it like it’s OK and how do we change it? If you want more guys in your life, you go out and find some. How do we find more candidates for president?
Just like we don’t just settle for any old boyfriend, we shouldn’t have to settle on a candidate either. And while the way candidates are chosen in the country may not change in the next election or in the next 100 years we can try to make our candidates adapt to us. We can vote. Protest. Call our congressmen. Lead our own campaigns. We can tell the world and our prospective leaders what we want. It’s easier now than it ever was before to meet like-minded people who can help make our individual voices louder as part of a group. Get on the internet! Send some emails. Techno-romance those candidates right back. Empower yourself to choose who you let into your life and who leads your country.
So whoever you support, be sure to vote. Make your voice heard so these two candidates know that you’re paying attention. The presidential election is not some one night stand. When the voting is over we’re stuck with whoever wins for four years. Let these candidates know that just because you voted your relationship isn’t over. It’s only just begun.
Caitlin lives in Brooklyn and spends her days practicing random acts of journalism while buying more albums/concert tickets than is financially prudent. She likes lemon water, ring pops, '90s radio on Spotify and tapestries. She tweets about music and being awkward at @ctrembz.
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