By Elizabeth C.
Like the little crying girl Amy, I am so ready to not hear about Barack Obama and Mittens for a little while.
I’ve been more struck by what’s not been talked about during this election cycle: government’s exploding secret surveillance of Americans, the retrenchment of civil liberties, the chasm between rich and poor, the utter manipulation of politics by special interests at every level.
But today is not the day to surrender to cynicism. Today is the day to hold out hope — not that either of these last men standing will solve the nation’s intractable problems. But that Americans get wise to the reality that voting once every four years merely provides the illusion of democracy in a nation where elections are bought by the highest bidder
Political engagement requires letter-writing, attending school board and local government meetings, signing petitions and turning out in person when you believe in something. If citizens delude themselves into thinking that casting a ballot for the president is all that’s required of living in a democracy, then those who hold the real power have won.
On another note, as Campaign 2012 draws to a close, I keep thinking of Election the 1999 film starring Reese Witherspoon and Matthew Broderick, one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen. Above is the scene where uber ambitious Tracy Flick finds out she’ll be opposed in her school’s election by the most popular kid in town. On a darker note, below is another Election scene in which the speech of the school’s unpopular third-party candidate packs a nihilistic punch.