Presidential Debates

As I sat down to watch the debates last night, and saw the eager facebook and twitter posts from friends hosting parties and debate drinking games, I remembered what it was like when election season was all about the game of the election to me. I still have friends who recognize that their lives will be unaffected by these elections, and are able to snipe on that basis. But whether it is vocational change, or geographical change, or simply growing older, I cannot engage at that level any longer. The stakes are too high, and almost always entirely ignored in the noise of the election season. Will there be substantive differences in the lives of the rural poor based on who wins these elections (especially the NC gubernatorial election)? Yes. Will these issues get any play? Almost certainly not. Whenever I go to the Jackson County Health Department, there are long lines. Advertisements for free dental clinics are prominently advertised at my doctor’s office. Every week, different people from CBC unload massive boxes of food for delivery to local school children. And yet, my political mailings are about whether John Snow is not dedicated enough to banning family planning services.

To reiterate, elections matter. A great deal. But it seems to me both a waste of time to spend extensive energy tracking the campaign like a pennant race and a trivialization of the issues at stake to do so.

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