Yeah, I’m still working on my mail-in ballot.
Like a good citizen, I visited vote.utah.gov and read everything about everything and everybody. I’m just gonna say, I’m glad I live in Cache County because some of the candidate choices for other congressional districts seem kinda sketchy.
First, there’s a time and place for the use of an unflattering selfie, but a candidate profile page is not one of them. You won’t win over voters if you look like that creepy Facebook stalker who repeatedly sends friend requests despite repeated ignores. Second, when you only have 100 words to describe yourself to voters, a list of the mountains you’ve climbed probably isn’t the best use of space.
Overall, the website is helpful and informative and I’ve also used other sources to research the candidates and issues, but it’s still hard to know because how can anybody REALLY know? Most of the candidates list impressive credentials and honorable causes, but no one truly knows how it will all translate on the political stage.
So what do we do?
To be responsible citizens and engage in the democratic process we have to make a choice somehow, and I believe ultimately our political fate is determined by a mysterious intelligence generated in the same place a donut is digested—the gut.
We’ve all said or heard the sayings, “My gut tells me,” or “I feel it in my gut,” and though nobody wants to discuss the graphic physiology of how our bellies literally have brains, it’s been scientifically proven they do and we trust that.
I know I do.
Just the other day a situation occurred that made me “go to the gut” for an answer. At my son’s end-of-season soccer party a few of the parents were discussing the vote. One guy spoke of a particular candidate, “I know him and he’s a great guy, but I didn’t vote for him because I don’t agree with some of his policies.” My interest was piqued in the conversation because the candidate spoken of is someone I know too—well, used to know anyway.
Back in college we worked together as work-study peons at USU’s old Merrill Library (I’m still mourning its demolition). We worked in different departments, but often bumped into each other while endlessly wandering the stacks fulfilling our various duties so we’d chat—quietly, of course—and help each other with our work. He was genuine and easy to talk to. He was a smarty pants too. I felt pretty keen such a brainiac would slum with the likes of me.
Since those days in the stacks, I’ve followed the rise of his distinctive career. While he’s elevated in notoriety and prestige, he still seems genuine and grounded. I’ve researched his policies and I don’t agree with all of them, but there isn’t a single candidate on the ballot I agree with completely.
In the end, I just have to go with my gut.
(Just as a little tip, candidates, my belly’s favorite brain food is ice cream.)