ENG1121, Section D421: English Composition, SP2016

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  • WEEK OF FEBRUARY 15: A Dream Undone
  • #35237

    Mike Passarelli

    A Voting Story

    When I was living in Washington State, I registered to vote in local and municipal elections. Driving home from work, I would see yard signs, billboards, and banners strung along the fences at my neighbor’s property lines, all of them with heartfelt pleas to buy another fire engine for the Port Orchard Fire Department. I took them all at face value, and made up my mind as to how I would vote in a few weeks. But politics cannot exist in a vacuum; for every person who wanted a new fire engine, there was someone who wanted to block it. I was leaving the Albertsons, my grocery store, and next to the Girl Scouts and their cookies was a very polite older woman; your quintessential grandma, engaging passing shoppers as to what they thought of the proposed fire engine bill. She asked me, after I politely, yet ruefully, declined to buy 18 boxes of Tagalongs: “Excuse me, young man, do you vote? Are you voting on the fire engine proposal?”
    I said, “Yes, I do, and yes, I am.”
    This seemed to upset her, as she walked beside me the few paces towards my car, offering a pamphlet. Not a professionally printed, color glossy pamphlet printed on card stock, but a piece of pale pink copy paper, hand folded, and the tell-tale streaks of a worn printer spool gleaning on the surface. I took her pamphlet and thanked her for her time, threw my groceries in the car and headed home. I read the pamphlet shortly thereafter, and discovered that not only was the fire engine being replaced less than 8 years old, the money for the new fire engine was going to come directly out of the seasonal budgets for parks and roads. No more winter snow trail maintenance at the park, no more summer road painting, and street cleaning was to be cut back to just twice a month. I immediately reversed my decision on the vote. It’s no shame to be ignorant of the facts surrounding a topic, but this experience taught me the social imperative to make conscious, informed decisions whenever I can. I believe that responsibility is equal to ones responsibility to vote.


    Justin L Lesta

    Voting was never really a big topic in my house growing up. The biggest things I had heard was from my mother which was “anyone but Bush”. If brought up in family conversation it would pretty much go the same way except highlighted with some colorful vocabulary. I knew my family as is most “foreign” ethnicities are towards the Democratic side. So far as long as I have actually payed attention the conversation would not vary much it was an automatic choice not much to say.But for the first time conversation was nothing but voting. That reason being that Barack Obama was running, being new, change and sort of empowering for all the colored people. It was pins and needles for everyone when the election was coming to an end. I had not even wanted to go to sleep when they were tallying all the numbers up. I remember that morning waking up to my mother nudging me softly out of sleep saying with a smile me saying “Justin, we won Obamas president”.
    With that being said this election has kind of done a loop in the sense that we are all saying “oh God not Trump”. I have never voted and still pretty much am on edge on it. This election to me is Trump versus all contenders. New York does not have much of a say regardless, even though how massive our population is. I am not scared to pick cast my vote and have my hopes for someone and have them not win as much as I am just underwhelmed with this entire thing.


    Mohammed Dawan

    As a privileged citizen, I believe I should take full responsibility of my right to vote. I’ve just turned 18, for starters, and I grew up watching my parents vote for every term. They’ve really never lectured me on the significance nor the act of voting its self, so I always thought it to be a verb for “grow up, old, parents, country style” people. Towards the two last years of highschool, I’ve taken Economics and American History with a richly informed teacher. She cleverly embedded the idea that, voting is NOT like one of those “social gatherings” you should avoid. I quote from the top of my head: “People have fought and DIED to give you spoiled children these RIGHTS and you choose to walk around with full knowledge of that you or someone you know can make a difference in Americas future status… It sickens me really, its like knowing you and your family are sailing into a storm and you choose not to press a mere button to change courses because you believe someone will do it for you or that the issue will resolve itself… ” For the life of me I can not remember why she went off on us or the end quote she said to lower the tension. The rant was a memorable one, it, per say, woke up me. To be honest i’m horribly informed on the politics or today but I really do think it is important to vote and this will be my first of many contribution to our melting pot society.


    Tony Truong

    The idea of voting had never occurred to me until I became 18 years old. My family rarely spoke of politics so I never really knew what was going on. Even this year, I didn’t know were the candidates other than Donald Trump. Somehow his name was everywhere on social media whether it was to make fun of his ideas and actions or to see his debates. The only time I remember my parents voting was when Barack Obama was running against Mitt Romney. My parents both agreed to vote for Obama because they believed that republican George W. Bush did not do an amazing job as president. “I believe Obama will make a difference to our country. His speeches makes me feel empowered as a minority and he doesn’t seem like the type to start a useless war” my mom told me in Vietnamese. Eventually the election was held and I watched on T.V. to see that Obama had won. My parents were glad and as months passed I did see Obama making a difference for the country. He ended the war in Iraq, created Obama Care, eliminated several threats, etc. After all that, Obama’s presidency is now ending and we need a new leader. The elections taught me that everyone is entitled to their own opinions and that everyone’s vote does make a difference so I will definitely attempt to vote this year.



    Voting is a very important topic. I have never voted before because I was not of age. As I got older I’ve come to formulate my own opinions on voting. I remember in the 11th grade in my United States History class, I told my teacher that once I turn 18, I will not vote. My teacher got offended by my words. He said, ” Do you know that people died so that you can have the right to vote ? ” . I told him that I am grateful for their actions but my reason for not caring about voting is because i don’t see the point. I remember in the last election, people who were going to vote would go to the voting polls which were stationed near schools if I remember correctly and the lines would be so long. People would be out there for many hours. I am not going to do that. I personally have no interest in voting. People such as my parents, teachers, and friends are all going to try to influence me to vote. Most of us don’t know how things really work when it comes to voting and running the American government. Elections is just a popularity contest. Also, there is a lot of things that the government do not tell us. There is a lot of issues that goes on in society that these politicians don’t speak up about and use their power to make changes. They don’t really care about us, they only care about their vote and themselves.


    A voting story
    My last year of high school all the teacher in my school was telling all the kids 18 and above to go vote for the who they think should be president. I was excited to hear the teachers encouraging student to vote, but at the same time I had no clue how to vote or who to vote for. That same day my family and I was going out, we were all in my fathers cars; it had a awkward silence in the car so I decided to spark a conversation on what was going on in school today. I ran a cross the topic of voting, I was like “can’t wait to next year so I can vote for Obama” my mother turned around and looked at me and said “it’s not next year it this year in November” I looked back with a shocking look. My sister started to laugh then say “you slow how you going to vote and you not 18 yet, your 18th birthday is like 2 to 3 weeks after voting is over.” I sat there confused and petrify on the very thing I wanted to do but couldn’t. Then my father jumped in and said “ok shinny you laughing at him, he wanted to vote but can’t; so you can vote who are you voting for your are old enough.” she replied by saying ” I don’t know I’m not sure if I’m going to vote at all, what the point of voting any way.” we all go quiet again, then I said if you vote you have a chance to speak up and be hearded. She then looked back at me and said “what do u mean;” “voting is one of the constitutional rights you have of being a citizen of the USA” then she says ” ok then I’m voting for Obama” my mother ask her why though she replied by saying ” he’s the first black president and I want to vote for him because he’s black” I replied ” thats the most ignorant shit I’ve ever hearded” my parents then said stop cursing. Then my mother said that all he’s black so he got your vote, she replied “no he’s making a difference in the world so he’s deserves to be the leader of the free world” my father then said like how though. She could say nothing back because she was lost for words; she we all started to tell her why he should be president as well tell her how his making a difference in this free world. But that following year I was able to vote mayor of new York and be able to get my voice out and a citizen of USA and newyork



    Voting was never brought up in my family, nor mentioned by my relatives, which would explain why I have no interest in politics-related subjects. It may sound insensitive when people hear it where those people are really caught up with politics or those that wish to have the privilege to vote but it is actually normal within a Asian household. The last memory I could recall of mentioning of politics is Donald Trump. He appeared all over the internet, where social media was teasing him for his hypocrisy, and watching those videos were forms of amusement, rather than participating in politics. I personally have no interest in voting and it would be difficult to convince me because I find voting unimportant.


    Matthew Edelmann

    Today I will talk about voting. The first time I voted was before I was allowed to vote. My mom wanted to vote for Obama back when I was 12. So she brought me with her to the voting booth. She flipped some switches (one of them being Obama) and she let me pull the lever that casts the votes. I think the other switches she switched were for congressmen and senators and other political figures. I didn’t know who they were exactly.
    Six years later I was old enough to vote and I was determined to do vote so I looked up who was running and what they were running for. I found out that there was an election for governor in New York and our governor Andrew Cuomo was running for re-election. So I did some research on him. For reasons I’m not going to say here I didn’t like him. Since he was the Democrat I figured I would look up the Republican running against him. It was some guy named Rob Astorino. He wasn’t great but I liked him better then Cuomo so I voted for him. He ended up losing but I wasn’t surprised since Cuomo was the Democrat and this is a blue state.
    Today I have a very different outlook on elections. For starters I hate all the candidates running for president, both the Republicans and the Democrats. I also realized the system sucks and voting will probably not change anything and it might even make things worse. Here is why. Researchers at Princeton University looked at data from the past 20 years and found that regardless of what percent of Americans want a law to pass, even if it is 0% of us or 99% of us, there will only be a 30% that it will become a law. That means that public sentiments do not dictate public policy. There is an exception to this rule though, and that is lobbyists. The likelihood of them passing they want is around 61% and the likelihood of lobbyists stopping laws they don’t like is almost 100%. Plus the politicians don’t have to worry about reelection because of tribalism and party loyalty. Like I said early Cuomo won because he was a Democrat in a blue state. The Democrats will almost always vote for the Democrats and the Republicans will almost always vote for a Republican candidate.
    As long as we vote this system of corruption will be legitimized. Which is why I believe we should riot and protest against the government and demand they do what we want instead of voting. Cause the fact of the matter is voting for the candidate that will inevitably oppress us probably won’t solve anything. But if we as a nation came to the streets and demanded change, possibly even refusing to go to work until change is met, then the government would have to listen to the people.



    I wouldn’t say voting isn’t important but it was never a major issue within my family. My parents never really spoke about it, so me and my siblings were never really influenced to go and vote. When we had class discussions, I never really saw how big of a problem it was for some people until they told their stories and how hard they tried.
    Whether it’s voting for presidential election, class president for the school, or basically voting for anything, it made me hate it so much. It was never who could do something better or what they were willing to do when they got into office. It was always a popularity vote. Once they got into office, they didn’t do anything they said they would. The first time I joined my high school’s student council we had elections. I wasn’t allowed to vote and to be anywhere near it. Since it was happening throughout the day, candidates would go around asking people to vote for them. I remember a friend who was also running for the council who asked “Hey, can you guys vote for me?” They would simply reply “Yeah, sure. I’ll vote for you and this other person.” Those who would vote didn’t ask what the person was willing to do. They only voted for that person because it was a friend, someone they didn’t hate, or simply because they didn’t want the others to win.


    James Guity

    A Voting Story
    During my last year in high school, there was an assembly to encourage students to vote. The main goal of people running the assembly was to have all eligible students registered to vote. I sat in the first row and i watched an entire presentation that laid out the basic information on how to vote. It was the first time i taught about the Voting and the importance of voting without it being tied into historical circumstances. What i did notice is that the presenters did not mention the electoral college which does in fact vote for the president. This prompted me to question why voting necessary for students like me.. In the end i ended up registering to vote but the presentation made me not want to vote.


    Alexis Sosa

    The only voting experience I recall was back in middle school where everyone in the school received a paper meant to represent a form of voting. The sheet a paper was put into a basic format only stating a few facts about both Barack Obama and John McCain. The teacher in our class gave specific rules that we weren’t allowed to discuss any of our personal opinions on who we were planning to vote on until the voting process was complete and went on to say that it was “To ensure that your decision isn’t altered by any external influences”. After we finished voting and we headed to the cafeteria for our lunch break we all discussed who we voted for with Obama being the one who was voted on the most which of course included my vote as well. The day after the election in my school had taken place the teachers tallied up the votes and announced who had won based on what the students selected. Of course with everyone excited about wanting our first black president, Barack Obama had taken the majority of the votes by a landslide. I remember having a feeling of importance about having an effect on who was going to become the next person to run our country. Even if our votes didn’t actually count towards the real election it gave us the opportunity to put our word out there of how we felt and who we thought should represent us as a country.



    I grew up with politics all around me. I for one hate politics with a passion since I grew up with it. My grandfather was a politician back in my home country of Trinidad and Tobago. I remember having to follow him around for debates and rallies to promote his party. All this made me hate politics because I have witnessed my fair share of fights and arguments about the 2 different political parties. I was around 5-8 years of age when all this occurred. One morning we woke up at the crack of dawn to get ready for one of his rallies. I changed into his parties t-shirt and jeans. My grandfather always had me on the truck with him and his banners. The weather changed from a nice sunny morning to a gloomy, stormy morning. Getting drenched due to the sudden downpour was horrifying. My grandfather always said, “you will follow in my footsteps and become a lawyer and politician.” He would preach this to my older brother and I, and it scared me because its what none of us wanted to do. He had many other grandchildren to follow into his footsteps but he choose us. I was little girl who wanted to become a petroleum engineer while my brother wanted to become a pilot, sadly those dreams wasn’t fulfilled but we both did Aviation Maintenance. My little brother came along and wanted to become a lawyer so at least we have someone to fulfill his dreams. In Trinidad I know how the voting process worked because my mom volunteered as a voting personel to help people out when they went to vote. In Trinidad when you voted you dipped your index finger in ink that signifies that you voted. The only time i voted was for student government president and the yearbook celebrities.


    • This reply was modified 8 years, 1 month ago by Vanita.


    The idea of voting was never really of my interest but when I turned 18 I registered to vote because of the reason that my opinion could change things. Prior to that my only real experience in voting would have to be in high school when we voted for senior class president, vice president, treasurer and secretary. The candidates would post flyers of there ideas and things they would plan on doing for us. Along with that they would give us papers to fill out on activities we would like. That was also a way in which I was voting and I guess I felt good to know that my opinion could make a difference, it could be the game changer between a good idea and a bad one.



    Voting is not an important thing to me because I don’t know that much about politics and government also never had my family talk to me about politics or voting so this might be one of the reasons am not interested in voting. Also I don’t like politics because maybe of how same people running for present like Donald Tramp been so bad in saying things and also I heard that Donald tramp was not allow to go to same parts of the country because of his actions. “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” And “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?” this are some of the sentences he says to the world in his on stage in front of thousands of people watching him and its disrespectful.


    JieRu Lin

    Since I just turned to 18, I never thought about voting for someone politically, and also my parents and friends never brought up subjects that are related to political. Therefore the only candidate I know is Donald Trump, his name was all over the internet, where social media was criticizing him for making so many negative discussion about race and his thoughts about immigrant and foreign policy. “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive,” this is a quote that he says about global warming, I think it is ridiculous. Only an entertainer would say something like this, as a politician, he shouldn’t make this kind of statement, not only making US-China relations worse, but also upset the Chinese-American. I believe voting is a way to express one’s thoughts, and exercise one’s citizenship. If I would vote, I wouldn’t vote for people like Donald Trump, I would vote for someone who will make this country better and strong.

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