Tuesday, November 07, 2006

these are people of the land, the common clay of the new west. You know . . . morons.

Today is voting day, so I did my civic duty and voted.

As I was approaching the polling place, eyeing the signs, I wondered:
"Which is better to vote ignorantly or to not vote?"

Honestly, I knew very little about the races, though I was set on Governor: Rick Perry is a good Aggie. But today was the first time I can remember in a long while that I did not vote straight ticket along the party line.

We seem to hear proponets of "rocking the vote" encouraging folks to vote, regardless of who they vote for ... "Just vote!"

But which would be better?
  • 20% of the population voting, those who are motivated and informed
  • 80% of the population voting, 60% of which are ignorant and/or shallow in their voting
Is this the peril of democracy, the American public get to decide? The people of the land who are easily swayed get a say in things? I don't want to sound un-American, but I thought as I voted today that it's a scary thing that folks even less informed than myself can determine the course of this state, country, and the world.

Perhaps my understanding of depravity jades my optimism with regard to humanity, but I think I have personal experience and biblical instruction on my side in this regard.

Surely, it's the ignorant masses that determine these elections and they don't know anything about the issues, but base their decisions on things like the following:
  • He looks like a nice guy.
  • I like the way he smokes a cigar and makes fun of people.
  • She's cool and had some good ads mocking the evil doers.
  • He seems less of a jerk than the rest.
That's the reason campain ads rarely deal with the issues, and never beyond a surface (i.e., sound bite) level if they do. Folks don't know and don't care. But which is worse, voter apathy or voter ignorance?

Some lament we're having to choose "the lesser evil" when it comes to political parties, as though it's a problem with the two-party system. Perhaps part of the problem is the ignorance of the people of the land.

Surely the goal is the informed, educated voter, but can that be insured? Mandatory classes and/or prerequisite testing could be constructed to influence and/or discourage certain types of voters and would be opposed.

Sheesh, there are even some out there who think it unfair that someone should be a citizen to vote, so I know reform of any type would be unlikely.

What can be done? Do you vote? Did you vote? Where's the line, assuming you have one, whereby you won't vote on an issue if not informed enough?

4 Comments:

At 07 November, 2006 16:44, Anonymous Stephanie said...

I hope you didn't vote for Gov. Perry. Our schools and roads can't handle another term with him.

 
At 08 November, 2006 15:21, Blogger GUNNY said...

Wow!

Did the Republicans get spanked or what?

Must have been some sin in the camp somewhere to get smoked so bad.

Funny ... I got handed a sticker to wear after voting that read, "My vote counted."

As I put it on I wondered, "Did it?"

 
At 09 November, 2006 10:15, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For me, this year was about just voting for the "lesser of two evils" so to speak. Honestly, it was with a heavy heart that I voted for Gov. Perry. Chalk it up to submission and all that. : )

 
At 17 November, 2006 17:04, Blogger Jaime H. said...

I voted, and I believe that apathy is worse than ignorance. To just not care about the future of your own country, to not exercise your responsibility...that is far worse than not knowing as much as you should about the candidates or issues. Ignorance can be easily fixed with a well-written pamphlet or (in my case) the publication put out by the League of Women Voters that listed the candidates positions on certain issues, and interviewed each one. I don't know how it's done in TX, but here in MD, the county sends out a sample ballot prior to the election that lists the candidates and explains in plain English the issues that are up for vote (and what a vote for/against will mean). So up here, unless you just don't read the sample ballot, you can't be uninformed on the issues.

The problem is the two-party system. I think if people voted for who they really wanted to vote for, and didn't think that a vote for a third-party candidate is just a waste of time, then we would have a better system.

Nice blog, by the way.

 

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