Midterm lethargy

I, like many Americans, watched my phone as voting results came in around 8 p.m. on Nov. 4.

I did my best to try and express a legitimate interest and concern for what was happening. But around 8:30, with a heavy sigh and a crushing sense of apathy, I put my phone away and stopped letting the inevitable election results distract me.

It wasn’t until I got home and reluctantly checked my Facebook that I realized that I needed to actually see how things turned out. Not surprisingly, nothing really changed. Aside from a few ballot measures failing and passing, the election played out like most pundits imagined.

The Republicans took control of the Senate, which I guess is interesting, but even I can’t muster up a shred of false interest about what is happening in D.C. at the moment. I guess you could say I’m suffering from a massive case of voter apathy and disenchantment.

I can’t say that I’m at all that shocked that Measure 91 passed, which legalized marijuana. However, I feel I must mention that the laws currently on the books regarding marijuana don’t go away until July 1, 2015. Along with this, employers and landlords are still able to have zero-tolerance drug policies, and public consumption will remain illegal even after July.

This just further confirms that we Oregonians love weed but aren’t the least bit concerned about other progressive matters. It seems that not one measure that would have significantly challenged the status quo was passed and in fact, they all failed miserably.

Measure 90 didn’t pass, showing that Oregonians are totally cool with polarized political elections and disenfranchising non-affiliated voters.

Measure 86 not passing proves that Oregonians are liberal as long as it doesn’t involve their own wallets and taking a bit of risk financially for the sake of education.

Measure 88 not passing sends the wonderful message that here, in Oregon, we love equal opportunity, unless of course you are an illegal immigrant who has no legal way of getting yourself to work every day.

People are up in arms about a bunch of statistics regarding the supposed pay rate inequality between genders, but they sort of just shrug off the fact that a huge work force here in Oregon can’t legally drive.

Notably Measure 89, the most useless and ineffective of the measures, was passed by a wide margin.

I hate to break it to folks who think Measure 89 was some revolutionary piece of legislation, but the Oregon constitution already says quite clearly, “No law shall be passed granting to any citizen or class of citizens privileges, or immunities, which, upon the same terms, shall not equally belong to all citizens.”

So by adding this new stipulation, is it now necessary to reiterate this principle for every ethnic group, religious minority and social group? I guess Oregonians are cool with kicking a dead horse if it means doing it for equality!

Only a bunch of idealistic Oregonians, who love to coast off feelings of self-satisfaction from supporting equality, would vote for a measure that unnecessarily adds another stipulation to the Oregon constitution—one that is pretty much already there—and then proceed to vote no on Measure 88.

It seems that Oregonians are only excited about equal opportunities if you’re a true red, white and blue American. This is something that has had me frustrated about Oregonian politics ever since the water fluoridation nonsense that happened a few years back.

Oregonians love to jump on board of idealized symbolic causes that in fact do nothing, and in the end simply deprive poor families of access to basic dental health benefits and pointlessly repeat laws for the sake of their symbolic value.

It’s typical that in Oregon we can feel good about adding another clause to the constitution that is pretty much already there and call it progress.

So there you have it, folks—the midterms have come and gone, and nothing too significant happened.

At the national level, congress will probably remain at a standstill, and the president will most likely veto anything that the Republicans pass. John Kitzhaber, the emperor of Oregon, was reelected, and things will keep trucking along with Oregon still being 47th in the nation when it comes to funding higher education. And finally, Oregonians proved we’re open to idealized progressive values, but at our core we are all still a bunch of immigrant-hating racists.

In fact, the only thing that’ll be different by the time the next election rolls around is that we can all legally get stoned, watch Adult Swim, and feel like we contributed by mailing in a ballot while eating Ben & Jerry’s in our underwear.