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Davis, California

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Pants optional

The election is officially, like, so five minutes ago, but before the media refocuses on the things that are important (photographing Lindsay Lohan’s crotch, for example), I wanted to reflect on the experience of living through what was surely a defining moment in American history. Some are stoked and others want to move to Australia. Such is the result of an electoral field day.

I know we columnists have been throwing a helluva lotta politics your way, but this is more on the sentiment that came out of this whole electoral process. First of all, I find it a little ridiculous that the race was dragged out for over a year. It truly is the job interview from hell. I’ve heard people say you have to be crazy to want to be President in the first place. Maybe they’re not so far off the mark.

Plenty of awesomeness was achieved this time around. More of us lazy-ass college students dragged our much-abused bodies out of bed and made it to the polls. Or just mailed in our ballots, or had our mothers do it for us. It doesn’t matter, really; mad props as long as you voted (pun intended). Peeps passed around the change and hope like popcorn and believed in it. Woot!

Unfortunately, I also witnessed how the excitement that the race generated brought out the worst in some people. Buzzing excitement is great, but there comes a point where enthusiasm for a candidate becomes downright obnoxious and results in a surplus of unnecessary hostility. I found myself berated by my own family members for voting differently than they expected of me. I heard stories of yard signs being stolen, people manically registering and voting multiple times, and of course, there were the nasty, nasty rumors spread about the candidates. Not cool.

It is absolutely your right to be proud of the candidate you supported. Maybe you made yourself a mummy costume out of McCain bumper stickers or bought Obama tube socks. But your neighbor has just as much of a right as you do to put up a yard sign, and anyone who violates that right by stealing such a thing is engaging in some major douchebaggery. We all have been blessed with the freedom to express ourselves. Dont piss all over someone else’s.

Politics ignite passion, but where do we draw the line between passion and obsession? I don’t feel that anyone has the right to demand that another person explain their political beliefs. At the end of the day, it is what it is, and your vote is the only true say you get, so there’s no point in bunching up your panties over school district budgets.

I only know that as a citizen, we each get one vote, and how we choose to spend it is completely up to us. If you were too lazy to vote, by the way, you forfeit your right to complain possibly my biggest personal incentive to check that ballot. With freedom of speech comes the freedom to bitch. Spiffy.

This election forced me to reevaluate my own political beliefs and how I go about discussing them with others. I understand now that there have to be two sides to every issue. Really, it wouldn’t be half as fun if everyone got along. But I have a little more respect for people who aren’t afraid to play devil’s advocate and go against the grain. People shouldn’t be made to feel like bad human beings just because they disagree with someone else’s idea of what’s right.

The details, the telecasts and the unforgettable moments included in this election will go down in history books. But the difference between reading about it in a textbook and living through it is that you know everything that went down the good and the bad, not just what some scholastic press wants you to know. I, for one, will never forget the slander, particularly the disgusting comments people chose to make about Hillary Clinton. When people engage in such low means of supporting their candidate, I hope they know that they’re a detriment to the very cause they support.

Honestly, I’d like to believe that there are things people of every political affiliation can agree on. Spumoni good. Idiots bad.

MICHELLE RICK wonders which Senate members are the best at flip cup. If you’d like to have a long, drawn-out discussion about this, e-mail her at marick@ucdavis.edu.


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