And I voted. Earlier today. Got my sticker, and a candy bar. And now, until the next election, I get to complain about how everything’s going to heck in a handbasket, and if only they’d listened to me. . . .
Of course, none of the people I voted for are going to actually win. I live in Utah’s Third Congressional District, which means the incumbent is Jason Chaffetz. He’s not a bad guy, but he is wrong about pretty much everything; he’s a Republican, after all. The district is heavily Republican, and his opponent, Brian Wonnacutt, has hardly campaigned. He’s an old short bald guy, a software engineer who has never run for public office before. But he sort of inspires me, to be honest. He’s fighting the good fight, doing the best he can. He does believe in the scientific consensus regarding global warming, which Chaffetz rejects, because, you know, Al Gore. Reason enough to vote for Wonnacutt. He’s going to get crunched, though.
I also voted for Charles Stormont in the hotly contested State’s Attorney race. The incumbent is Sean Reyes, who was appointed after the last AG, John Swallow, was arrested for corruption. Stormont and Reyes both work in the AG’s office, which means they’re pretty much equally qualified. Utah has, of course, a proud tradition of electing Republican crooks as Attorneys General, which means both guys are running on ‘we’ve got to clean up the AG office.’ (I don’t mean that all Republicans are crooks. I know of many crooked Democrats. Just that Utah’s AG’s have had a discouraging track record). I have no reason to think that Reyes is corrupt, but I think a Democratic AG would be a nice change of pace. But Reyes will win. This is Utah.
(Of course, the State’s Attorney race I’m most interested in pits is the race in Illinois, where Alicia Florrick is in a tough three way race, going up against Bald Evil Guy and Frazier Crane’s brother Niles. I’m rooting for Alicia, but she’s got some problems, what with her law firm representing drug dealers and stuff. Plus, I don’t think her snake of a husband being governor will help at all. For some reason, the vote there isn’t for a few months. But, you know, go Alicia!)
Anyway, I’m a Democrat, and I live in Utah, which means that most of the folks I support are going to lose. But there is also a bond measure on the ballot in Utah County. It would raise money to support Provo School District schools, many of which are in very poor shape. That bond measure really really needs to pass. Provo High is falling apart. Sunset View Elementary is structurally unsound.
And see, that’s one of the reasons to vote. Because it matters. It does actually matter.
The people I voted for are mostly going to lose. The ballot measures I most strenuously oppose will probably mostly win. But if the bond measure passes, our local schools will receive some much needed upgrades. And that’s important.
I know that political engagement can be frustrating, and that politicians can be obtuse (or worse) and that so much of our national political conversation is, oh my gosh, infuriating. Trying to use the political process to do good in this world can feel like trying to empty the ocean with a teaspoon. But I will cling to my spoon til the day I die, and I will dip and pour, dip and pour, and maybe some tiny good will come from it. So go vote. It doesn’t take much time, and it isn’t particularly painful. Grab your spoon. Let’s empty that ocean together.