Distracted by the coverage of the upcoming Presidential election, I cannot write about anything else. It is unfathomable to me that there are people who are either apathetic or uninformed when it comes to politics.
Maybe my fixation is a result of living in close proximity to where all the action happens, near our Nations Capitol. Every time I enter the city, I feel a swell of American pride, awe and patriotism. Ironically, the population in this area is somewhat sheltered from the problems of the rest of the Country. The struggle is not as magnified here, where house prices and employment levels remain high.
I was not engaged at one time and am unsure of when I changed my mind and decided to start paying attention. I remember feeling about politics the way I felt about golf. How boring! Then I started to play golf, not so much by choice but to participate in client tournaments and began to understand the fascination of wanting to get that little ball into that little hole in fewer strokes than the other guy or gal. My competitive nature took over.
By that same token, there is nothing boring about politics. If that is what you think, you are merely uninformed. If that is what you think, you have not been watching the debates.
Could politics be an interest that develops with age?
Now, being at an age and in an income bracket where so many decisions made by politicians, directly affect me, have I simply just woken up?
Is it because I have Veterans in my family?
Perhaps it is due, in part, to my friends and family members in the military or due to my personal experience of military life.
Maybe, my interest magnified after living in Europe and witnessing their economic and Healthcare issues.
Or, simply put, maybe I feel I am caught in the middle, as a member of the middle class, the knot in the tug of war between the political parties and a member of the gender they are currently squabbling over?
The only problem with this theory is that “we the people” are all affected by the decisions politicians make, whether they tell us what they are doing with our money or not, whether we realize what is happening in the world and how our country is tied to it or not, whether we are aware or not.
As an informed voter, I seek information via multiple television news sources, newspapers, magazines, the radio, the internet and in discussions with others. It is not hard. I absorb information while exercising, cooking, checking e-mail and driving, all with minimal effort. I do not take much stock in celebrity endorsements. Why trust a professional actor to be truthful? Rather, I make my own decisions based on my values. I have the advantage of knowing what those beliefs are and where the candidates stand on issues that are important to me. Finally, I abhor desperate attempts by the candidates to smear one another or to placate me.
I may be a candidate’s worst nightmare.
For women in America, voting rights began in 1920, less than 100 years ago. Respecting this right means that I know how fortunate I am to be an American woman. Respecting this, means that I take my rights seriously. Whichever candidate for whom you cast your vote, please, respect the right enough to make an informed decision.
Well said! And congrats on being Freshly Pressed.
Actually voting rights began in 1848 with the first Suffrage Convention. And I do think an interest in politics grows over time, if life is allowed to go its normal course. I just hope it develops sooner rather than later for my sister.
In the United States there was no universal suffrage for women until the passage of the 19th amendment in 1920. See here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arvAwoSDSMw&feature=share&list=UUQUPf_yh0IaUrFu0LWnHWnQ
Excellent post, by the way!
Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed 🙂
I agree. The worst voter is one that doesn’t know why they vote the way they do. I know a crapload of people that fit that description. I don’t mind if your opinion differs from mine as long as it is an informed opinion.
Great post!! We are far to forgetful sometimes. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!
I think it is getting harder and harder to make an informed decision. For example, the debate tonight in Florida, will that determine people’s minds on who to vote for by a debate?
At least the debates offer a chance for us to hear the candidates discuss the issues in their own words. My only hope is that tonight the moderator does his job and remains unbiased.
We will see tonight, right! http://www.segmation.wordpress.com
You are right. An uninformed electorate is our worst enemy.
Thanks for posting. On a related note, today is the deadline for California voter registration. And it can be done online at http://voterguide.sos.ca.gov. Update your info or sign up if it’s your first time voting.
I thank you and your family who have served!
Thanks everyone for your comments and likes…you give me hope!
Over time through corruption all rights of the people’s having been
stripped away / the people daily brainwashed by a 24/7 govt media.
BARACK the Al Capone of politics / he but removed the remaining
rights the people having left / the most precious of rights that of an
right of a trial BARACK removed with the stroke of a pen as nation
nation slept / as the 24/7 media remained silent to a great injustice.
To gain another term in govt BARACK having spun out a yarn of
a Healthcare Bill which promises all to all // the reality being that
the Healthcare Bill but a gigantic fraud that it’s funding only exists
in the TWILIGHT ZONE such appalling fraud only made in gaining
BARACK another term in office / which the nations true problems
as usual be ignored the focus the media directed agin muslims, in
the main against IRAN / thus the malice hate of anti muslim will be
once again spun out by the media leading as creating a situation
where there being a attack upon IRAN bringing death destruction.
There’s only one solution to the plight of all the planets people
that be that the media brainwashing ending / that people’s are
allowed to form independent opinions / that they are allowed in
having brain development a growth of understanding a growth
of experience upon that of reality not continuous media illusion
which depriving the people of needed development upon their
understanding their experience’s unto the purpose of creation.
The brain is capable of imparting great understanding as the
hearts capable of being open unto a experience of great love
when not allowing the natural development of the brain heart
then a resulting cost is but great suffering upon all humanity.
Informed voting would necessarily imply including investigating the campaigns of the silenced major third party (more than half the state ballots) candidates, Gary Johnson (48 states), Jill Stein (37 states) and Virgil Goode (26 states.) Informed voting would realize the 2 warmongers pretending to be the only candidates, are not, and will only continue to be as long as people continue to focus on just them.
The libertarian party is garnering more attention these days. Unfortunately, one of the party’s best advocates and in my opionion, one America’s greatest patriots, Judge Andrew Napolitano, lost his cable news show and hasn’t seem to have found a new outlet to reach a lot of people. The libertarian party can’t expect to pounce to a lead in a presidential race right now–they need to make more inroads at the local, state and national level (like the two Pauls) and bring people on board. We are more than ready for a viable third party. But I believe this election is way too important to cast a vote to a third party candidate that has zero chance of winning. It’s a protest vote and it could trip you up with uninteneded consequences–like a second-term from Obama. As much as you may feel both Obama & Romney are two sides of the same coin–they are not.
Well said. Did you catch the Judge on Fox & Friends this a.m.? He offered a great synopsis of how Benghazi spun out of control.
Reblogged this on & Eritreo's Blog ƒ dd and commented:
This is a reblog!!!
If our polls (Aus) are anything to go by the informed vote is a myth. In Australia, at least, people seem to veer from one side of the political fence to the other depending on the day, the weather or something someone said that annoyed them. Ether that or I have to wonder who is filling in the questionnaires.
In Aus, most of the commentators are against compulsory voting. I’m for it, whether it’s an informed vote or not. (although I prefer informed) As you said, voting used to be a right, the right of one gender. Now we can all do it and we should consider it a priviledge as well as a right. I think I’m being all convoluted, but I know what I mean.
“Could politics be an interest that develops with age?”
I would say so. The first time I remember voluntarily looking up candidates’ stances on issues was during my senior year of high school.
That’s fantastic. Let’s hope you are the rule, not the exception.
Big misconception about voting in a presidential election, it’s not a right protected under our Constitution. Might want to look at Article II of the Constitution. Congrats on being FP.
Excellent Post! Congrats on FP status. We will be reading!
I belong to these people moved by emotions in the voting booth. Sometimes I even am crying on the way to the election room of my electorate. – It’s simply coz I feel the burden of all these unfortunate ancestors and the luck of us and the generations to come: we can vote.
I’m loving it.
Angry makes me only the lack of interest to use this right, the growing group of non-voters forming the largest party – and I do live in a country where you get several letters from your city, state and country asking you to come and vote and where voting happens on a Sunday traditionally, so nobody has a stressful working day to use as excuse…
I’m in big favor of countries who do have a compulsory election system. “Wanna be a free citizen? – So yo must go and vote or we’ll fine you!”
I think this is brilliant and perhaps gets those only ever complaining in to action…
Yes, passion not passivity!
sannekurz / In the USA most poitical parties are given
no time via the media in making clear their policies…..
they are shut out by the media / which is owned by the
wealthy / the wealthy whom own as control the federal
reserve bank / thus they have great powers / such so
it they whom pick which party in power as holds office
it they whom choose whom president as whom holding
what top positions in the opposing party unto the govt.
The whole political system is now rotten unto the core.
However your point is well taken one should exercise
their right to vote even it betwixt the worst of two evils.
Thus unto all americans give yourselves a shake and
get out & vote for Mitt Romney /give him your support
let’s get the train on track / thus / we can all go home.
I admit our system isn’t perfect, but I’ll take democracy any day over communism or socialism. Regarding the media, yes some have lost sight of the job at hand, which should be to report the news in an unbiased manner. How about reporting the news around the world? Do our news outlets only report what they think we want to hear? Or do they underestimate us? In Europe, you can actually tune in and get a sense of the real “world news”. BBC does a decent job of it as well.
The country seems to be so divided over this election. Here’s my take on it. I believe President Obama honesty believes in his vision for America, I’m just not sure everyone shares that vision. I don’t doubt that Mitt Romney believes his business background will guide him in the repair of our economy and he could be right. Running America has to be the most difficult job in the world, so I give them both credit for wanting the job.
Once upon a time, I thought we should focus on America’s problems, but that’s a terribly naive mindset. We are all in this together. Some Americans think this election is only about our economy, but our economy is tied to the world economy. People look to America to for aid, what happens when we have nothing left to give but debt to future generations?
Love what you do.
The only problem is that the debates only feature two candidates, so how can you really be informed by watching those? We never get to hear how the other 6 to 10 candidates would tackle the issues. Still, I respect your determination to be informed as a voter.
One problem, those others lack funding, a necessary component of modern politics. An independent party with proper resources might have a shot, but first, people need be become engaged in the “welfare” of our Nation.
Very circular reasoning. Third-party candidates lack support, so we don’t support them. Then the cycle of substantially identical candidates and disgusted voters choosing the lesser of two evils continues.
I’m curious, what do you mean by the “welfare” of the nation? How do you see the work of third parties as not beneficial to the political health of the nation?
I tend to pun, sometimes by accident, sometimes not. I may have used welfare tongue in check. I don’t disagree, a third party might be the answer, but how to garner enough support? I mean both financial and party support, because without the $ how do you reach the general population? Perhaps mediums like this will change that, who knows?
Ok, my bad. Sorry that didn’t get across to me!
I certainly hope you’re right that the Internet may change how things work. Because of things like crowdfunding, third parties may have increased opportunities to raise financial support.
As someone who takes your right to vote seriously, how do you feel about the voter ID laws that different states have passed or tried to pass?
Well, I’m not an expert on the voter ID laws, but I believe it is not unreasonable to ask someone to show ID or prove citizenship in order to vote. There have been issues of people voting twice, this happened recently in Florida. As long as voter fraud is an issue, guidelines are needed. Should it be consistent for all states…not necessarily. And we need to make exceptions for the military who are serving overseas.
So if voter fraud is not an issue, ID isn’t needed?
Even if a person doesn’t drive they can still obtain a photo id. And voter fraud will be an issue as long as we have human frailty.
So the temptation (for lack of a better word) one may face to commit voter fraud is enough to warrant ID laws? The threat of punishment isn’t enough and that it hasn’t been a (significant) problem isn’t comforting?
Yes, you don’t need to drive to get a photo ID, but sometimes the hoops one must jump through in order to exercise their rights turns attempts to protect the vote from human frailty into voter suppression (I’m not talking about just a trip to the local DMV). Personally, I think we need a balanced approach. If voter fraud is a significant problem (not merely the abstract notion of it), then we need ID, but we need to make it easily available (which is not being done by the current laws).
About people serving overseas (or away from their poll places generally), do you mean something more than an absentee ballot?
One could argue voter suppression on both sides of the fence. Corpses voting would be more than an abstract notion. If a person is a US citizen, can you please explain the hurdles or hoops you are referring to? Re: the military, a federal law on the books stating it will supply ballots to the military overseas and the Government saying they don’t have the $ to send the ballots. No vote for our military personnel overseas, really?????
Sure: http://colorlines.com/archives/2012/10/just_how_hard_is_it_to_obtain_voter_id.html and http://www.aarp.org/politics-society/government-elections/info-01-2012/voter-id-laws-impact-older-americans.html and http://www.propublica.org/article/everything-youve-ever-wanted-to-know-about-voter-id-laws
Corpse voting *could* be more than an abstract notion, but it’s not. http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2012/05/republicans_are_trying_to_stamp_out_voting_fraud_that_does_not_exist_.html
I’m reading more about deployed military persons voting. I can’t find information about the states not having enough money to send ballots overseas (though I read about “trouble” sending them generally). I think I’m having a hard time making sense of it. There appears to be a problem (or several problems…some with sending and some with receiving) but I’m not sure what it is. I had not heard of this . Thank you for bringing it to my attention. Do you have more information about this? (You mentioned voter suppression on both sides of the fence, so I’m assuming you are finding information on Democratic-leaning states not sending out ballots?)
Thanks for the info, could be that the deployed missing ballot report was suppressed along with the report on sequestration. But I think we agree that every legitimate vote should count.
“But I think we agree that every legitimate vote should count.”
Absolutely. (And, I think, that every eligible citizen should vote or have the option to easily.)
Getting informed is at the root of democracy working properly. Great post and congratulations on your freshly-pressed status.
I just wish that, as a taxpayer, I actually did have a vote. (No taxation without representation– yet for a working seventeen year old, that means nothing, apparently.) Still, I do enjoy educating myself about the issues and the candidates. It’s practice, I guess. And I always appreciate it when people take time to actually consider both sides before casting their vote.
I love your analogy about golf and how once you got it your competitive nature took over. I have felt that same sense of competitiveness in the Presidential debates. Thank you for your post!
Jyun / In my reading Eileen’s comment I read it as “warfare” of our nation). T’was only your comment that brought to my attention in
that the word used was “welfare not “warfare” I t’was left confused
by the word “warfare” however t’was only my misreading the word.
“Welfare” of the nation / simply means justice for all / that none be above the law / that politicians remain servants of the people / not
that people become the servants of politicians. One’s vote count’s.
Reblogged this on reflections of a writer.
I think that it is great that you use several sources for your information. I lean one way, but I also check the information on the other side before making my decision. Many people do not realize there are news sources that present more than one side. They listen and read information from the “main stream” and that is all they know. Many sources show their bias by the information that they include and omit, so you only get the story that they want you to hear. No matter how you vote it is important to be informed. I also like that you don’t listen to air-head celebrities.
I may be Canadian, but I sympathize. Sometimes I wonder if better classes in civics, and at a later age (maybe grade 12?) when kids might appreciate them, would improve a country’s voters. But it probably just comes down to families and there’s little to be legislated there!
You are correct, I’m starting with my two now in Elementary school.
In today’s world where technology has advanced to such a degree that we need not sit in front of the TV screen to get information. To find out what is happening in our world, besides turning to new papers or radio, we can turn to our BBs,Ipads, ipods, laptop,smart phones or any of dozens of media ready gadgets that has become part of our existence. So i find it disturbing that with all the different medium from which to get information, we are still uninformed when it come to politics and the political process and that we are naive enough to concern ourselves with a party and no the candidate, who they are, what’s their past and what they stands for when it comes to the issues facing our country. Armed with information about the candidate, I have no problem crossing party lines; sticking with one political party because its your party is absurd. One has to take the candidate and their views and moral standing into consideration and choose the person to vote for based on those criteria and not just because he or she belongs to a particular party.
Reblogged this on Inside Santos Guardiola.
Very informative post.I hope the day will come soon to see a fair voting system.Wishing you success.Thank you for following my blog.Jalal
I wish the same thing and in addition, I wish that we can all become more informed about the political process and better and choosing the right leaders.
I agree with your frustration. In Australia we have compulsory voting and STILL there are many people who are apathetically uninformed. Democracy is government by the people. If you are uninformed you are being lazy and selfish.
Very informative post.Freedom of voting is a blessing.Thank you for stopping by.Have a wonderful day.jalal
Yes! Finally someone writes about chavez and cito.