The games have just begun

By ELVA AGUILAR
On November 7, 2012

The polls have closed, the dust has settled and the votes are in.

Now everybody on my Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram feeds can finally shut up.

Don't get me wrong; I actually think it's a beautiful thing our country gives its citizens the privilege of free speech. But with the good comes the bad and because the Internet has given us the assumption that any thought that comes to mind deserves to be immortalized online, I'm glad this is all over.

It doesn't bother me that people have opinions. In fact, I praise every one of my peers who took the time to learn about who they voted for before they hit the polls. What bothers me are those who took the time to comment about the election this year but did absolutely nothing to spread knowledge, awareness or even add to the conversation at hand.

For example, the political cynics who believe that our votes "don't count" and that voting for the president makes no difference. I can understand where the frustration comes from. I'm sure so many of you have felt disillusioned by the government that's given you institutions such as the university you attend.

What I frequently wish to troll on those Facebook statuses and tweets, however, are the other elections that people somehow forget about. Yes, I'm aware of how overwhelmingly Democratic the Southeastern end of New York State is and how that affects the votes in the Electoral College during the presidential election, but the local elections that effect us much more then the presidential electiondoes go seemingly unnoticed.

Whether you voted here in Buffalo or via absentee ballot, that vote for your state senator, senators, congressmen and representatives will directly affect you much sooner and much more significantlythan your vote for president did.

But cynics don't see that.

If your apathy for government is strong enough that you don't care about local elections either, why are you wasting keystrokes incessantly complaining about it anyway?

It's beyond me.

Personally, I respect those who have clear-cut opinions on who they want to vote for. I respect people who take the time to learn about policies, how those policies will effect them and their loved ones and that they're brave enough to stand by what they believe in, whether or not I agree.

What bothers me, however, are those who base their votes off skewed opinions or their complete disdain for their opponent.

Countless people I graduated high school with flood my timeline about how "stupid, ignorant and Christian" Mitt Romney is and how they plan to fully support Obama. What the argument lacks, however, is any reason why anybody should have voted for President Obama.

Likewise, on the eve of the election, I saw a parody Mitt Romney twitter account claim Obama supporters had a head start on voting because they're all unemployed, and "true" Romney supporters are blue collar Americans who work nine to five.

Ignorant statements like that are why these extreme left and right wing Americans feel the way they do about each other. None of it is based on logic, they just hate, and because we live in the glorious country that we do, they're allowed to hate all they want.

My prayers have finally been answered, however - it's all over. The suspense is over and the person elected was, once again, President Barack Obama - Congratulations.

Although the media circus is over, the games have just begun. It's time to see if all of the color commentary online will continue and who truly cares about their communities and country.

Those of you that do, thank you.

Those of you that don't, stay away from the Internet.

 

Email: elva.aguilar@ubspectrum.com


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