Monday, October 25, 2010

nothing makes u.s. politics feel distant like distance

i believe for the first time ever, i am sitting in a foreign country on the even of a fairly major (albeit "off year") election. normally at this time i'd be obsessing over small changes in the polls and scrutinizing the daily stupid story to determine how it might affect the election.

instead, i find i don't care. the u.s. and it's politics feels very far away right now because, well, it is very far away. because my internet options are more limited here, it takes more effort to follow those political stories and i find that on most days i really don't feel like making the effort.

maybe it's some kind of defense mechanism. the democrats (i.e. "my side") face a loss, so maybe my kazakhstan adventures are just a way to avoid the harsh facts of the day. but i doubt that's the case. for one thing, a losing election is often more interesting than a winning one. and when i think of missing all the inevitable post-election democratic finger pointing i get a twinge of regret for not being there to watch the stupidity unfold. also, part of me believes the "GOP tide" isn't nearly as big as it has been hyped to be. i'm still curious to see if the failure to meet expectations of a blowout might end up backfiring for the republicans.

but also, i will not be voting this election. my travel plans popped up with too little notice for me to get an absentee ballot. (MontCo requires the application be submitted 30 days prior to election day) so, among all the other indignities i have had to put up with in this process, kazakhstan has managed to disenfranchise me. not voting also strangely makes me feel like i have less of a stake in the election, like whatever happens i can wash my hands of it because i wasn't able to take part. on the other hand, if sestak loses by 2 votes, i will be pretty pissed off. so maybe i do care after all.