There’s really nothing to do in this town. Well, if you’re 18 and don’t like to smoke, gamble, pay taxes, get married or tattooed, or sign up for a Sam’s Club membership. But there is one thing I can do: vote. I finally have a right to choose and not sit idly by while everyone else decides for me. I’m an adult now. This is the most important election of our time, and I have a voice in politics, just like everyone else. My vote counts just as much as President Bush’s or the homeless man who lives on Western Boulevard. I matter in the world. Finally.
And you bet I will vote for every last child without healthcare. I will vote for my sixteen year old sister who’s already looking at scholarships because she gets to choose whether to pay an exorbitant amount of money for college or, well, not go at all. Really, voting’s the least I could do.
A couple weeks back, my cousin asked, as he was driving me back home, who I was voting for. I said, “Change. But his name is also [Barack] Obama.”
He gave me a rather disparaging glare. I don’t know who he supports, but he obviously doesn’t support Obama. Then again, he also doesn’t vote. No one in my family votes. They just don’t vote. But I suppose, since they lived so many years under China’s Communist regime, before they immigrated to the United States, they never fully understood the impact of voting. I’ll be the first in my family to vote in a national election. I voted in the primaries, though. My dad was a little shocked when I told him where I was going. I drove myself. Afterwards, my dad asked me who I voted for. I hesitated. “Obama,” I said, knowing fully well what he was going to say. Sure enough, he gave me the same characteristic glare my cousin had given and said in a disconcerting manner, “Why? He’s black!” My father’s not ignorant. If I said I voted for Hillary, he would have said, “Why? She’s a woman!” And if I voted for McCain, “Why? He’s white!” So, really, he’s not going to be happy unless there’s an Asian man up on the ballot. And you best believe he’ll be, as my boyfriend tastefully describes, “ballin’ to get to the polls.” I’m pretty much ballin’ to get to the polls.
I decided to set down a time and place to vote: Monday at the Pullen Art Center. I’m voting for change. I can’t wait for the feeling I get when I finally push that electronic pen on Barack Obama’s and Joe Biden’s names. I feel so optimistic about North Carolina and the nation, in general. I’m hopeful for Obama. I’m hopeful for the future.