I’m going to let you in on a secret. I am sick of politics. There, I said it! I realize that on this extremely politically active campus, by making this declaration, I may as well be announcing that I hate puppies and world peace too. But something tells me that I probably am not the only one who is going to be happy when all the madness is finally over.
Madness does seem like the appropriate word. Wherever you turn, there is either an Obama T-shirt or a McCain button staring you in the face. Posters, stickers, pens, mugs, bobble-head dolls – you name it, and chances are it has the face of the potential leaders of our nation plastered all over it. And if you even chance turning on your television for half an hour between classes, prepare to end up seeing more of the endless political commercials than of the show you actually wanted to watch.
Now, rewind back two years, and I was just as politically excitable as the next GW freshman. During the 2006 midterm elections, I stayed at the Marvin Center until midnight with what felt like half the student body, watching the results come in. I dropped everything I was doing to go hear Bill Clinton speak in Virginia. I even planned my study abroad experience so that I would be back in the District in time for the 2008 presidential election. But somewhere between then and now, the excitement and novelty of this prolonged presidential race faded, and I find myself wishing the election was a Band-Aid the nation could just rip off and be done with.
It’s not apathy or laziness on my part – or at least I don’t like to think so. I’ve done my research on health care plans, immigration policy and education, and come Election Day, I hope to make an informed choice as I cast my ballot. But I am not looking forward to yet another month and a half of this political frenzy until our nation can elect its new leader.
Don’t get me wrong. Political awareness, especially among young people, is something to promote and celebrate. Too much time spent browsing political Web sites is certainly preferable to not caring at all, but there is a fine line between being up to date on current issues and having Obama’s face set as the background of your computer screen.
When America embraces a craze, it does so wholeheartedly – think the Beatles, Pokémon cards and Grey’s Anatomy. This political race has captured the country’s attention like a new season of American Idol, except the stakes are even higher than that coveted recording contract. When Election Day does arrive at long last, I look forward to watching the results come in and finally knowing who will be the 44th president of our nation. Until then, let’s just keep the political noise to a dull roar.
The writer, a junior majoring in psychology, is Hatchet contributing opinions editor.