Sitting in the Middle

| FROM ACADEMY PRESS | BY JANINA HUANG | November, 2012 |

Every four years, there are certain events that we can expect to happen. There’s a leap year, a total solar eclipse occurs, and the Olympic games take place.

Every four years, in America, we elect a new president.

To some people this is a great big deal. There are debates to follow and speeches to hear, words of politicians to analyze and ideas to question.

To me, however, the elections are just like leap years: we anticipate them, they happen, and life goes on.

Maybe it’s that I can’t vote yet, or that I’m just not that interested in politics. The most interest I’ve really shown in voting was when I was little and it was still socially acceptable to go with my parents to the voting booths so I could get one of those cool stickers stating that, “I voted!” with red-and-blue gusto. I still have the stickers—they’re in a drawer in my room along with many others—but I no longer hold a reason to follow or care about the election.

During the 2004 presidential election, I was in first grade. Some genius decided that it would be a good idea to ask elementary school students who they thought could best run our country. I remember that, like the majority of my class, I voted for John Kerry, solely because I didn’t think it would be fair if George Bush got to serve for another term. This was the logic behind much of the school’s population’s votes too, seeing how John Kerry had the majority of the votes in his favor.

Needless to say, George Bush won the actual election.

Perhaps that contributes to the reason as to why six-year-olds aren’t allowed to vote.

It’s not that I can completely escape all information about the election, though. The news surrounding me is filled with information about the election: who’s ahead in the polls, and Oh my god, did he really say that? However, since the only other pieces of news worth writing articles about are centered around who wore it better and that time some celebrity was seen walking on the streets with another person (spoiler alert: she’s his sister), I do have some knowledge as to, say, who the candidates are and what they believe in.

Admittedly, that’s not something to brag about. I should be able to remember two names and two parties. But these names: they’re just names. Not That Person Who Will Run The Country or The Person Who Could Change the World Around Me. They’re just people who could be my next-door neighbor, with names that I remember, but have no meaning behind them.

So I guess that, while people debate about what should happen, what we should do, and who will bring the most change for our country, I’ll be sitting here at home, counting the number of stickers I’ve collected over the years.