Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Political Aspirations

In my Junior year of college, I ran for President of the student government.

When I first went to school, I became very active in student government. I was new, and by myself, and especially since I lived off campus, I didn't really know anybody. Luckily, I found people who had the same beliefs and hobbies as I did in the student government. I worked in the office as a student worker. Our main job was really to throw parties, trips, and other student activities, but we also dealt with policies that affected the students. We had two great people working for our school who worked as the liaison to the Executive branch of the school, two people who I admire to this day, and they were basically our bosses. At the end of my freshman year, I helped three other friends of mine run for the government, and the next year, I worked for them as the office manager, which basically put me in charge of the staff of student workers.

But it was different, one of our bosses was transferred to another department in the school, and the other quit. The school was dissatisfied with the policies of the student government, and wanted a change. The people they hired to replace them became my arch-enemies. We butted heads on everything. By the end of the year, everyone was sick and tired of dealing with them, and nobody I knew ran for student government. Three people I didn't really know ran, and won, and we all turned our back on student government for the year.

As my junior year was winding down, I was utterly dissatisfied with the way the student government was being run. Nothing they ever did appealed to me, and I was running into opposition every time I tried to do something with them. They also had plans to change things within the school that I thought were fine just the way they were. A few friends of mine agreed, so we got together, and challenged the incumbent party as they ran for reelection.

I thought we ran a decent campaign, and the incumbent party ran a lousy campaign. As election week came, I grew hopeful, it appeared that we had a slight lead. People appeared to support our attempt to bring back things to the way they were. Also, it appeared the school was full of people apathetic to student government as a whole, so all we had to do was enthuse a small amount, and it would give us the election.

Election day came, and things grew shady. Polling places around campus didn't open like they should have. A shady online voting system was put in place. The incumbent party broke a few rules, and the student constitution went missing. But as the first day ended, I was still hopeful, things appeared to be swinging my way.

That soon changed.

As the days went on, the numbers seemed to be swinging the other way. The exit polls (well, really, what people seemed to be saying as they exited the cafeteria) weren't in our favor. As voting finished up, I grew despondent. Finally, as I sat in the office, watching the polls being counted, which turned out to be 70% or so not in our favor, the hard truth hit me.

A majority of the school didn't agree with me.

That's what yesterday felt like.

But, actually, yesterday felt a lot like two weeks ago, when the Yankees lost to the Red Sox. It hurt for an evening. I tried to figure out what went wrong, but in the end, It had nothing to do with me. I did all I could, and realized that the world isn't over, Christmas hasn't been cancelled, and new comics were still in stores today.

What hurts most is realizing that a majority of the disagrees with me, and that was never going to change. You think it could've, but, hey, I guess people just like things the way they are. Am I scared? A little, but I can't just cower in fear, you got to be strong, and do whatever you can to convince people that things can be better. And if they disagree? Well, they have the right to.

"The Incredibles" comes out on Friday. Maybe the future can be ok.

God, I hope so.