Politics. While national politics is always a loud, name calling, insane state of affairs; during the months leading up to the presidential election it escalates to a fevered pitch. This post is not about my personal political leanings, instead it is about the process of this political season and what it should mean.
While the candidates and their rhetoric, back stabbing and flip flopping are enough to make my head hurt, it is more the mass of uninformed voters that make me crazy…and frankly a bit fearful for our future.
The privilege of living in a country where all of its citizens have the right to vote is a true blessing and should be taken seriously. Instead, many just don’t bother or they do not make researched, well thought out decisions. These politicians will not only be representing you and your county but they will have a hand in the laws that we all live under and abide by. Would it not be in your best interest to study the platforms and policies of each candidate and fully understand what each brings to the position they will be elected to? To do research on other countries or periods in history that had leaders who used similar policies?
This is not to imply in any way that one candidate is innately better than another. That is for the voter to decide. As a voter, however, your job is to be well informed. If you back candidate A, it should be a reasonable expectation for you to be able to explain why. Don’t you think so? If you are so riled up that you need to scream and yell and protest Candidate B, you should be able to explain why when asked. I am not talking blanket terms here. No, words like ‘Liar’, ‘Bigot’, ‘Radical’, ’Elitist’, ’Crony’, ‘Obstructionist’, ‘Fringe’, ‘Establishment’, ‘Crook’, ‘Bleeding Heart’, and ‘Blowhard’. I mean show that you know what you are talking about. We all see it every day don’t we?
Why are you protesting Candidate A?
“Because he/she is a _____!!”
What makes you say that? How do you feel about his/her stance on the economy/healthcare/foreign policy?
“He/She is a ______! “
Why are you voting for Candidate B?
“Because Candidate A is a ______!” or “Because he/she is great!”
Sorry, that does not fly with me. How can you call yourself an American if you do not at least try to learn as much as you can and choose your leaders wisely? How can you call yourself an American if you try and prevent others from doing the same? The same goes for those who vote by party lines. It does not matter who the candidate is as long as he/she is a Democrat or Republican. So ridiculous!
Consider this, during the primaries the candidates of the SAME party debate and bicker and slam each other’s platform and policies. The SAME party! It is the individual who takes office. Yes, of course the party will have say (or sway) in what actually gets done….but to a large degree it is the individual who puts forth what is considered.
Another point to think about is those who focus solely on one aspect of a candidate’s platform without knowing or caring about the rest. Then they are shocked and dismayed when “their” candidate “betrays” them and does exactly what they said they would during the campaign.
Please people, please…listen, read, learn. Knowledge is a powerful thing. Treat the privilege of being able to vote with the seriousness and thought it deserves.
Compare and contrast ALL of the candidates. Learn what the Republican, Democratic, Libertarian, Socialist, and Green (etc.) parties stand for. What current or past governments have been run under these particular styles of leadership? How did they do? Look at our own history. Educate yourself. Don’t surrender your voice…vote, but vote with knowledge! Our future depends on it.