Tuesday, September 14, 2010


When I was in elementary school, I could not wait to vote. Voting was a duty that I would wear like a medal on my chest. When I was growing up, I firmly believed that my one vote would one day begin change. I could "rock the vote" if you will. My choice would make a difference in issues concerning education or social security.  But in fifth grade, voting was reduced from the nirvana of political public participation to a club I could never get into. I realized all too soon, that this propaganda for change and vote and being the only country where we could make a difference was just words. Does my vote really mean a thing?

 According Opello's and Rusow's NATION STATE, the managerial state is set up into bureaucracies. Bureaucracies are a "sum of individuals engaged in administering public services"(140). The citizens get to participate in the government on a local level. The German Historian Max Weber said that bureaucracies are most efficient means of exercising control control over large amount of human beings. This is because the citizens feel as though they have a say in the government. Participation is key. It gives an individual empowerment. Are they really making a difference? Now that is the question. Come voting time, America is on edge. The media dishes out the histories of candidates, policies, this country is on the buzz. It empowers this nation. Opello and Rusow say that "elections 'domesticate' and pacify participation and transform it into a routine, peaceful public activity(158). Routine being the key word. Looking at the election from a cultural anthropological sense, the election is a public ritual that bonds this country. Often the focus is between two states. Politics in this nation goes back and forth. Back and forth. I believe that it really at the end of the day is not about the outcome. Honestly, what will my one vote do. I am barricaded by the frontera that is the electoral college. It is about the reflection in this country. The reflection within ourselves. We think about the issues and wonder how could we get involved. Talk about stability, we trust the system. But we are convinced that we have the choice. Think about how campaigning works in this nation. WE are the consumer. WE. They are "working for us" to please us. You see, often it is a science: how to win the love of your nation. How to say what. But we feel empowered. The candidates must convince us. And knowing that we have this POWER is what stops us from marching in the streets. We have always known we have had the power. After all, we are AMERICANS. You see how words become full of life when we believe them? We are convinced that we run the country. That is why democracy works in our country. We believe in the phrase "for the people, by the people". Because we are the consumer of our decision. We have the choice. I will leave you with this video that I think resonates with my argument. This is a promotional video for voting(more inspiring propaganda) about voting. But I love the lyrics because we must "STOP, TAKE SOME TIME TO THINK, FIGURE OUT WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO YOU". Because afterall we are "making a decision" but in reality, we are making the decision to discuss the politics in this country and global issues and have an opinion about what is happening around us. Even if it is for a month before the elections. 

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