Chat with the chief: Flexing my right

This cycle marks the first time I will be able to vote in the presidential election.

Up until this point, I’ve always avoided politics. I’m typically a very “go with the flow” type of person when it comes to my daily life, so considering which individual in the highest echelons of government would best suit my interests was not a worry of mine.

Knowing that my voice could not be heard until it matured to the age of 18, I saw little point in paying attention to that which I could not affect. Politics were merely a hot topic for people older and better informed than I, and I was not to join in the conversation.

Yet now that I have ripened to become an eligible voter, I’ve dived into the madness that is the presidential race.

People say that this election cycle is particularly reminiscent of a circus. While I might argue that this opinion is most likely a product of recency, the personalities vying for the commander in chief’s chair are certainly fun to follow.

These candidates receive so much media attention between gracing newspaper and magazine covers and being played on a loop on the national news that they almost become characters for us to enjoy.

Watching Jeb Bush and Donald Trump go at it on the debate stage was like watching quarreling reality television stars. Senator Bernie Sanders evokes the same humor that Betty White might. Old people aren’t supposed to say or be able to do that! Plus, when candidates drop out of the race, it’s almost as if they all gathered around the campfire before the weakest link had to leave the island on Survivor.

In a way, the presidential race is one of the only reality show truly grounded in reality. This is unscripted, unadulterated madness unfolding before our eyes.

I’m excited to finally have a reason to take part in it. I’ve been following the debates, reading up on the candidates and tracking their successes and failures in the caucuses that have already transpired. Having said that, I still haven’t decided whom I will vote for. Nevertheless—still excited.

Not to mention I’m now eligible for the glorious honor that is jury duty, though that inspires considerably less enthusiasm in me.

When March 8 rolls around, I’ll find myself casting my first vote that wasn’t just in an anonymous online poll. Sure, I probably won’t know where to go or how it’s done without asking innumerable questions, but it’s all part of the learning process. Besides, in case you haven’t noticed yet, I’m excited.