11/05/2014 08:22 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Change Is Hard

I did not vote in the election this week. I cannot put into words how weird that feels. I grew up in a home where news was watched and church was attended. I learned admirable ethics and how to be a productive member of society. I remember traveling the 60 miles to Topeka with my dad to see Ronald Reagan campaign, so when we held a Mock Presidential Election at my Junior High School, I was honored to portray Republican candidate Ronald Reagan. I won the majority of votes at my school against his opponent, Incumbent President Jimmy Carter. I'm not sure if it was the platform I put forth, the ideology of the area, or the sugar cookies I gave everyone, which were ironically frosted in blue, but a win is a win. Eight years later, in the real Presidential Election of 1988, I was proud to cast my first presidential vote for George H.W. Bush and Dan Quayle.

That was 26 years ago. Much has happened during those 26 years, both in my life and in this country. I look at the Republican Party I grew up respecting and I don't recognize it anymore. I traveled to countries that don't have the same level of infrastructure as The United States of America. I talked with people who had differing belief systems. I spent time in metropolitan areas and took classes in college that made me question my belief systems.

My belief in the idea of government for the greater good and the benefit of the people has been shattered forever, not only by travel and education, but also by life experience. I find the constant bickering on social media and propensity to vote against rather than to vote for a candidate offensive. I still believe in the power of the vote, however.

The reason I didn't vote in this election was because I moved out of Kansas and across the country a few months ago. I was not able to register and transfer residency in time to vote locally. Had I known this would happen, I would have certainly made arrangements to have a mail-in ballot so I could have voted for Paul Davis over Sam Brownback, and also Greg Orman over Pat Roberts. Yet I'm sure my one little vote wouldn't have made a difference in a state so bloody red. Pat Roberts has been a career politician since before I made those blue sugar cookies in Junior High. Well, change is hard.