Midwest Voices contributing columnist: Maggie Jackson

Dear Politician,

Please let me speak frankly with you, if I may. We will forget about proper grammar, names to pin point who is incompetent, and political correctness. Instead, let’s have a frank conversation. Let’s pretend for a little while that we are equal and that you truly are working as a public servant.

Since the age of 18 I have voted in every election, primary, and just about any other time voters were called to express their opinions via a ballot. In my case these years of voting doesn’t add up to a lot of ballots compared to some, but it certainly adds up to more digits than I have on my hands and feet combined. At first I was so excited, I kept up with the issues, who were running, and how I thought about the difference I could make by coloring in one oval at a time.

Over the years my excitement has waned. As a matter of fact I am beginning to question whether my vote even matters. Oh sure sometimes the issues or people I vote for have passed, but I’ve noticed over the years that this rarely has anything to do with my one little vote. It is most apparent in the big elections where we vote in people who can’t string a complete sentence together or who think they can flash a quick smile which will magically make everything okay.

Recently I was asked who I would vote for president if an election was held today. My response was that it just didn’t matter. The people with the most money and corporate backing will get the nod. A third party person or plain spoken person will be examined as simple minded buffoon. You know the kind of person who will only muck up the whole system because a few simple minded voters will waste their votes on the long shot.

Unfortunately the reality for some of us simple minded voters is that the current politicians are merely paper dolls. You know the kind that can be purchased in a dollar type store. These dolls like most politicians can be easily changed, torn, and manipulated. All you need is a piece of tape and a dull pair of scissors to make them become anything you want. This is exactly the type of politician we get when we allow money and a few states to determine who gets the nod.

However, that isn’t even the worst of this whole political dilemma. Even if we could get past the whole money and corruption factor of politics, we are still left with a bunch of paper dolls that will wither when a little rain falls. This is true whether the politician is president, senate, or representative. As a matter of fact if I sometimes think that politicians, all politicians, have removable heads, it really doesn’t matter which face you see because they are all the same. They sound the same, vote along party lines, and are only concerned with themselves.

So you see my problem is that I really don’t know what to think about any politician. You’ll tell me what you think I want to hear when you think I’m listening and say something entirely different when you think I’m not paying attention. It just depends on the crowd. This makes me almost laugh at you because sometimes you act like television, radio, and newspaper stories about you are run exclusively in one location and won’t be broadcast anywhere else.

In the next election I really question what I’m going to do. My disenchantment is so strong that I am beginning to wonder if I should bother voting. Would it matter? Will you listen to somebody who is really just a nobody in your eyes? Sure I’ll probably vote, it is after all my civic duty and I haven’t missed an election yet. However, will I feel satisfied when I walk out? Will I feel like I made a difference? Probably not.

Maggie Jackson 2009 Reader Advisory Panel



One thought on “Disenchantment

  1. Michele says:

    So true. Could not have said it better myself, nor could I have said it as good.

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