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My President Is Better Than Yours

Jason Cooper, WFNT

Sounds like the arguments made on grade school playgrounds during recess. The fact of the matter is one may hear a more intelligent argument for a child’s claim to a swing or the defense of his favorite sports hero than from adults in today’s voting public while discussing politics. Concerning political debate, when it is ‘your guy’ in office the other party’s constituents should learn to accept defeat, not be a sore loser and go along with whatever comes down the pike in the form of policy. Once this is learned and adhered to, the skies will be bluer, the birds will chirp louder and peace will rule the planet. Exactly what we need, another “Age of Aquarius”. Any criticism of the other guy’s candidate, sparks heated debate and in some cases those angry words turn into physical action. Let’s grow up.

We have three categories of voters poised to make this happen. There are the well-informed sincere voters, the somewhat informed but activist voter and the un-informed apathetic voter. While each type has the right to vote, the question becomes should they? Here is where the trouble begins as I analyze and explain the reasons why or why not one should exercise their constitutional right. Yes trouble, because after all who am I to say what one should or should not do? I’m just some guy with an opinion, and it is said that everyone has one so what makes mine superior? Nevertheless I’ll continue.

The well-informed voter will attempt to persuade you with facts, statistics, and policy recommendations and will recite campaign promises and missteps until the cows come home leaving, one more confused about his candidate than you were before speaking to him. Now being well-informed is not a negative in and of itself, but transferring the information to others seems to get lost in the conversation between the informed and others. Also the uber-informed most times, find themselves guilty of not seeing the persuasive forest for the trees. This leaves them frustrated and appalled and thinking others are just too ignorant and without hope of ever getting the politics right.

The semi-informed voter will vote based on tradition of family or will succumb to the ‘packaging’ of the candidate. Opposition to his candidate will be fought from an emotional standpoint when attempting to persuade others. Good feelings generated by politicians will go a long way with this type and a manipulative candidate can harvest the most support. This voter, once convinced, will do or say almost anything for his choice of a representative and is not that concerned about the forest or the trees. To other voters, not being able to see the “right thing” offered by his candidate is just a matter of callousness on the part of the rest of us not having the decency to help our fellow man. Their eternal question is “what kind of society are we?”

Now we have the uninformed voter. This type is not only devoid of any political knowledge, and has no desire to acquire any. His standard reply is “well they are all the same, so it matters not who you vote for,” and/or “my vote does not matter because the system is rigged and they are all crooks.” This voter will not be able to offer any assistance to any candidate or can’t be convinced by facts or sympathy to become engaged. His slogan is, tomorrow the sun will rise as usual. And, if after the election, my favorite vices are still available, all is well.

So now, after I pull the arrows out of my back here is my conclusion. The schoolyard debate is welcomed and necessary in our representative form of government. I applaud the Constitution of The United States, as it provides for all three types of voters to speak. As long as the citizen is legally allowed to vote, that right should be exercised. One caveat I would offer will be for each of us to realize what that same constitution REQUIRES of us as citizens and of those we elect. A second danger is that of blind support of elected officials regardless of their performance in office. Intellectual honesty by the electorate is necessary for self- governance to sustain itself. So if those requirements can be met with maximum information, so be it. If minimal information coupled with feeling good does the trick, then great. If not caring, closing one’s eyes and while blindfolded throwing the lever fills the bill hooray! But what we must all KNOW when voting is that when ‘our guy’ is in, or it is ‘their guy’ on top, we through our vote put him there knowingly or not.

Grow up.

 

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