[WARNING: I’m getting on my political soapbox, so readers beware…..]
Friends, we have reached that dreaded time frame: the final days before an election. And we are all being bombarded with ads on TV, pamphlets in our doors, mail from the candidates and special calls from “famous Politician So-and-So” asking us to vote for Candidate A. [I got a voice mail from Bill Clinton in 2008!]
I have taken my vote very seriously in the almost 40 years I have had the honor and privilege. I read up on the candidates and the issues and really weigh my choices. Yes, I am registered Democrat, but I have never voted a straight ticket in my life. Many times I have picked a candidate from the Republican side of the ballot because I felt his experience was better, or his policies were more in tune with my way of thinking. Like I said, I DON’T TAKE THIS LIGHTLY.
But it has saddened me the way public apathy has permeated our society. Our national record on voter turnout is appalling. We should be ashamed of how we take this freedom for granted.
We should also be ashamed of how we squander this privilege. I remember doing work for my local Democratic party to get out the vote in 2004. It shocked me the number people that:
a) Stated they weren’t going to vote. ”What’s the point.”
b) supported Candidate A because he was pro issue X. “But what about issues Y and Z?” “I don’t know… but he’s for issue X.”
c) Blindly accept whatever some radio or TV pundit says about a candidate or an issue. Don’t they know how to think for themselves?
The escalating amount of spin and negative ads always appalls me too. “Don’t put Candidate A in office,” says Candidate B’s ad, “He voted to kill puppies!” What they fail to mention is that Candidate A was voting on a bill to fund education or something important like that, but Congressman C attached the killing puppies piece to the bill. We gotta stop that practice—each piece of legislation should only address one issue. Enough of piling all of the pork onto it, already. I see this stuff on TV and my head spins.
I also think elected officials should put in a full work year like the rest of us poor slobs. As it stands now, they spend most of their time trying to stay in office—or get elected to another office. They only actually do the work we are paying them to do for about 6 months out of the year! Ridiculous—no wonder nothing ever gets done in Washington. Election season should only be about 8 weeks—if you can’t figure out who you think would do the best job in that time, then there is something wrong with you.
And the reality is that whoever has the most money to spend generally winds up winning.
We should put an end to that NOW!!!!! My idea is to give every candidate an equal amount of airtime on radio or TV, and an equal amount of ad space in local papers. Everyone gets an 2 hours to use in whatever increments they wish.
During that limited period of time I mentioned earlier.
That’s it. No more. That’s all she wrote when the pencil broke…..
From my soapbox….
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