So, tomorrow will be the 2nd Presidential election that I vote in.
During the 2000 election I was 6 months shy of 18 and instead stayed up all night at my Dad's house to watch the results. Every time Bush won my dad would play U2's "Beautiful Day" at full blast. I'm sure this woke up the entire neighborhood, repeatedly, since Bush won and lost and then won and then lost the election a million times that night. Didn't we not actually know the results of the election for like 30 days after that? My senior year of high school was an interesting time for me politically speaking. My opinions were just forming, and honestly I think I just liked to take positions that got a rise out of my more liberal classmates. They were adamantly pro-choice, and I was hard core pro-life. They were pro-gun control. I actually stood up and told my classmates that I wanted to be a lobbyist for the NRA and my mission wouldn't be complete until every household in America had an assault rifle. If you asked me why, could I have told you? Absolutely not. I wasn't actually thinking about my personal opinions, rather, I was mostly reflecting the opinions of my Father to irritate those around me, lol.
By the time the next election rolled around, I had some time to do some serious thinking. When I actually got the opportunity to vote, I really reflected on what my vote meant - and who I wanted in office. I was going to ASU... I didn't have a lot of money... I wanted wanted wanted and John Kerry had some mighty appealing ideas. Honestly, I was trying to get a degree in education, and I thought to myself that John Kerry's education policies would allow me to become a teacher with the least amount of effort. Screw that no child left behind crap. I didn't want to be held accountable. That was what immature and lazy Kerith was thinking, anyway.
But - for some reason I was tuning in to conservative radio. I was listening to Mike Savage, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh. Despite my selfish, lazy ways, these guys actually made sense to me. While watching the RNC, I listened to Arnold speak and explain why he was a Republican. I was sold:
I voted for Bush in 2004, and from then on I remained interested in politics.
Over the years my views have changed. After that election, the terms thrown around to describe the parties switched from democrats and republicans to liberal and conservative. I was a Republican as far as I could tell, but in the last four years I first and foremost identify myself as conservative. I believe that the government should be smaller, and that the government is the cause of most this countries problems, not something that will solve them. I believe that if the government just gets out of our way, we can be successful and achieve greatness.
So, when John McCain won the Republican nomination, I was dissappointed. Out of all the candidates, I felt that he was by far the least conservative. I was on the Fred Thompson band wagon. I wanted a candidate that would champion smaller government. When it came down to John McCain and Mitt Romney, I crossed my fingers that it would be Mitt. It wasn't.
But - tomorrow, I have to make a choice. I'm not going to call this the lesser of two evils choice. No - it isn't that for me. But, over the last 8 years I have had enough time to think and really analyze what I believe and why I believe it, and I can honestly say that between the two choices, John McCain will keep the government smaller, and will stay out of my way as much as possible. We may not agree on illegal immigration or global warming, but we do agree that this country is much better off when the American people are left unrestricted to achieve greatness without being overburdened by the government.
I don't know how the election is going to turn out. I hope that I get to see some great changes coming from a McCain/Palin administration. I guess we'll know tomorrow.