Posted by: Dahni | November 4, 2008

Rational Thought?

   I was speaking with a neighbor (with whom we have often conversation), whose opinion I greatly respect. Perhaps the word ‘opinion,’ is not the correct word nor conveys the proper mindset. I respect his experience and practical wisdom, wisdom being something, which is acquired over time, from doing several things correct or correctly.

   Anyway, we were discussing a matter and at one point I said, “You know, that is not a rational decision.” To this, swiftly came the reply,

“I don’t make rational decisions, I do whatever I want.”

   WOW, I was nearly knocked off my feet with that statement! Later, as I thought about this, it did not seem so uncommon. During this particular election year, I for one, set out to really get informed on the issues and about the candidates running for office. I read everything I could get my hands on or had time to read and it went all over the spectrum of parties, people, platforms and positions. I did the same thing with television, newspapers, magazines and information obtained over the Internet. With all this effort, towards the end, all that was left to me was opinion, an emotional response and a decision to cast my little vote, pretty much based on my ‘gut feeling.’ This is NOT rational!

   I did not set out with a ‘gut feeling,’ to end up with a ‘gut feeling.’ Was not this my purpose, wasn’t I trying to get informed, so that I could make a rational decision? Yes, but what happened?

   I know votes cast or not cast this year and on this DAY, have been or will be based on much of the following: 

* He is black * He is not black * He is not black enough

* He is a liberal * He is not a liberal

* Her wardrobe costs too much * Her wardrobe will go to charity

* I don’t like their associations

* He is too old * He is too young

* He is a centrist * She is a woman * She is a conservative

* They are Pro-Life * They are Pro-Choice

* There are no women on the ticket * He is associated with Bush * I hate Bush

* He is a Republican * He is a Democrat

* I’m not voting, my candidate did not win in the primaries

* He has military experience * He has no military experience

* Polls show he is wining and I want to vote for a winner

* Polls show he is wining, so why should I bother to vote

* I’m for the underdog

* Most of the media and congress are for him, so they must be right

* I don’t trust the media and I certainly don’t trust congress

* I really could care less * I’m too busy  * My vote does not count anyway

* The Electoral College will decide * The courts will decide


   Feel free to add to the list, as I am sure there is a plethora of ‘why-s’ people, vote the way they vote. Oh sure, I am sure, there may be, a few that are really voting on issues, although they are probably in the minority. Sadly, I am not one of them. Even though I studied and researched, I ended up with, still more opinions, half-truths (which are still lies, by the way), and on and on, from all sides. Geez, is there any wonder WHY, We the People, are so divided?

   Speaking of division, I heard on the news just this morning, a father and daughter that have had a long term and a great relationship, now don’t even speak to each other, because of their opposing choices for president. In another situation, parents were cutting off college funding, because of opposite choices for president. And finally, another student was changing their vote in fear of losing their parental funding.

   I am also confident that even though people said to a pollster they would or did vote a certain way, didn’t, don’t or won’t and some will not vote at all that said they would.

   Checking the fact checkers and the snopes and the truth or fiction, and the .orgs etc., who checks them? Wow, when I found out many of these purported unbiased organizations, supposedly ‘For the People,’ were all in the tank for one party or another, the bias was clearly seen. As a former investigative reporter in the field of journalism, I can almost say with certainty that journalism, has been replaced with entertainment or simply that which makes money! Journalism may remain only, as a word in a dictionary and something from the past, unrelated to our present and our future.

   In the end, I had only one choice to make, as not to vote, was NOT an option. How was I to vote, with all this chaos and confusion in my searching for answers, mind? It has all come down to ‘belief,’ not do I believe in this person or that person, but what do I believe in? It is not what one says or how well they may or may not say it that matters, but what they do. Now how am I supposed to know what they will or will not do, once elected?

   I admit that the only borderline, rational thought process was for me, to look at the records and how long they have been doing, whatever they do. Which of these more clearly represents a track record of their promises and which one more resembles my beliefs?

   There I was, around 6:00 AM, eastern standard time, this morning, November 4th, 2008, standing in the voting booth with curtain closed. I flicked the little levers and made my choices. I pulled on the crank, my votes were recorded and the curtain opened. It was done! I walked out and was given a little ‘I Voted Today,’ sticker, but I was neither proud nor happy. I voted, not because it was my right and privilege, but it was my duty. I was not happy to vote for someone. I was not happy that my vote would be for a winner, for a party, a person or a platform. I voted for me and for what I believe. No, I really did not write in my name for president, I voted for me in the sense of what I believe in.

   Solemnly, I went back to my car to drive home, knowing full well, my vote most likely will not even matter to anyone or towards any outcome. I was sad in a sense that it has all come down to pretty much casting my vote, from my gut, and hoping that my decision was the right one. I guess my neighbor was right all along,

“I don’t make rational decisions, I do whatever I want.”

   And this greatly saddens me that ‘We the People,’ have come to this, but what if we knew the truth? Feelings come and go, but if we knew the truth, wouldn’t we be happy to stand for it!

   Oh, by the way, I mentioned this blog post to my same neighbor. He said I over-analyzed this whole thing. Was he right again? I guess I should have just flipped a coin?


Just I-Magine,



  1. Excellently writen Dahni, I totally agree with you. I went through a lot of the same thoughts as you! Thankfully I voted absentee so I didn’t have to wait in lines… just a small one at the post office.

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