My first chance to vote came four years ago. Going against some of my then-burgeoning anti- establishment sentiments, I supported John Kerry, thinking that a Democrat in the White House could halt some the mistakes done by George W. Bush and perhaps even make some improvements in the world. I was more hopeful about the system then, optimistic that Americans could unite and take back the power from the right wing…. I was a little disappointed when this didn’t happen that year, though I recovered from Kerry’s loss quickly (deep down I knew he was a dud). I realized that there wouldn’t have been any significant difference between the two candidates.
Now, in the second election I’ve been able to vote in, I abstain and there is a Democratic victory. It’s an irony that forces me to reflect on America’s changing political landscapes and new horizons. Election results like this are precisely what I had hoped for in 2004, but since then I’ve become a vote-avoiding anarchist and radical. And while most Americans are generally still beholden to the political beliefs that gripped them for the last 8 years (as evidenced in the popular vote), I have jumped ship just as Obama’s election seems to have provided legitimacy to the Democrats and so-called “progressive” political stances. There seems to have been a symbolic defeat of political cynicism, which since the 60’s (at least) has been the one golden thread connecting all Americans together. All we hear is a patriotic chorus of “Yes, We Can!”