Ok, I voted. There are several hours before the polls in the East close. Now that it is all over but the shouting, I’d like to say something to the candidates, the media, the people in charge of the political parties – you know – those who really do not have a clue about what life is like for the rest of us.
Normally at this point in the process we are hearing about voter apathy. Not this time. This time it seems that people either love one major candidate and despise the other, or, cannot stand either major candidate, which means they either vote third-party or stay home. I don’t think I’ve heard the word “apathy” come out of a talking head’s mouth even once during this campaign.
But there is some apathy out there. It’s just a different kind of apathy. I know, because I feel it, living in Delaware. Whoever wins this presidential election will, in the minds of many, be the president of a group of states numbering 9 to 19 depending on to whom you are listening. These states are known as “the swing states” or “the battleground states”, and are the only states that saw the candidates in the flesh. These states are not considered to be firmly in one camp or the other (“red” or “blue”), and they have a LOT of electoral votes. Without at least some of these states a candidate cannot win. Consequently, those were the only states visited by Hillary and Donald. The other (approximately) 31 states are considered “safe” for one party or the other and/or do not have enough electoral votes to matter.
I get it, I really do. I was raised in a political family and I understand that you do what you have to, within the rules, to win an election. But a combination of the Electoral College and the advent of technology/social media has made it easier for the campaigns to take the voters in the “safe” states for granted.
I live in a state that suffers from a double whammy. Delaware is considered safely Democratic, and it has only 3 electoral votes. I have been inundated with emails for donations. Our whole area has been flooded by TV commercials, but not directed at us. We have to put up with the pitches being made to Philadelphia and Baltimore. Delaware isn’t even its own media market.
I’ll never forget the time a satellite TV salesman called me and said I should use his service because I’d get my local stations. I asked him which local stations? He proceeded to list all the Philadelphia TV stations. Before I slammed down the phone I shouted, “WHAT MAKES YOUR COMPANY THINK I, OR ANYONE ELSE IN THIS AREA, CONSIDERS PHILADELPHIA LOCAL???”
The point is those of us in the states that don’t matter are forced to put up with the idiocy of events in the battleground states, and are still expected to contribute and to volunteer for candidates that haven’t given us a first thought, much less a second. It would be nice if whoever wins would remember that there is more to this country than Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.
Thank heaven it ends tonight, at least for a while.