Sunday, June 01, 2008

Campaign Fatigue Already?

Great TV choices today... the sitcom re-runs and political pundits rehashing campaign soundbites.

Switch the channel and we must listen to all the well-scripted political sound bites intended to distract the "average American" from the real issues of today: jobs at living wages, health care, adequate housing, violence against women and children, and economic development. It seems like the extreme conservatives are chasing the lowest common denominator for votes -- what is lacking in thoughtful public policy is made up with emotional appeals, moral imposition, and demonizing all objectors.

The Greeks taught us much about debates, philosophy, drama and mathematics. Rather than building on that tradition, today's political environment is comprised of name calling, corporate interests reign supreme, scandal, and more voo doo economics.

Perhaps if more people gave up their political apathy just once and went to the polls, real debate of the issues would emerge. My grandma was very clear about voting: "When I was born, I did not have the right to vote. Women worked very hard and endured a lot of abuse to gain the right to vote for all women. You better appreciate it and vote every chance you can." I've been an active voter now for a quarter of a century (did I sneak votes at age 10?) and I take my children to the polls, too. They are excited about the right to do this.

Sadly, people in some countries (and Florida) are denied the right to vote or do not have free and fair elections. I know I sound cynical. But I am also incredibly optimistic about this country. We have a resilient system of government that endures changing political tides, economic cycles, and yes, even scandal and corruption. The voter turnout across this country is pathetic. I urge those who do not believe their vote will make a difference to just try it once. Go to the polls, dangle a chad or press the electronic ticket and see how you feel -- it is an enormous gift. And if you don't make your opinion known at the polls, don't worry, others who do not have your best interests in mind will be happy to let their vote count twice!

No comments: