Educating Voters

Status-quo politics won’t change until those voting change–educating themselves about the candidates! The sooner we all realize that nothing in politics is going to change until we change, the better off we’ll be–with people in elected offices who will get things done.

Far too often, the voting electorate is stymied by the multitude of candidates for any elected office and instead of educating themselves about the candidates and the issues they promote, they simply rely upon “name recognition” or who can schmooze them the most. Let’s face it–with most of the issues, all candidates from either side of the spectrum say the same thing with a few minor differences. On the national level, everyone is talking about healthcare, jobs, education, climate change and infrastructure. On the local levels, the issues are pretty much the same with every candidate declaring how much they love where they live. But are they doing the work to demonstrate how much they love where they live?

Everyone wants a job with a living wage–one in which they only need to work one job, not two or three to survive. Everyone needs quality, affordable healthcare since none of us knows when we might fall ill or have some devastating event occur in our lives. No one wants to ride on roads that are crumbling or see railroads in need of repair or bridges deteriorating. And most sane people–want access to a quality education for their children and grandchildren–along with the hope of leaving a planet behind that will sustain life for hundreds of years to come. Those are the issues. And for us older folks–we want the government to leave our Social Security and Medicare alone!

What’s stopping us from electing the person who will work to solve all the issues? Identity politics–whether it is about party affiliation or name recognition– it is the basis for how many people vote. Some vote against everyone by writing in ridiculous names or by not voting at all. For those who practice–write-in-buffoonery or not voting–it is a vote–and probably for the person least wanted. We see the best example of that–right now.

How do we get the right people in office? We research, listen, ask questions, and evaluate what we discover–educating ourselves as to how the candidates have performed in the past (if they have previous experience), look at what they’re doing right now, and talking to them one-on-one in town halls or coffee hours on the campaign trail. A responsible electorate will not allow a person’s status to intimidate them and keep them from questioning any potential candidate. A responsible, worthwhile candidate will make themselves available to respond directly to the electorate, as often as possible.

So, to get who we want in office who’s going to work for the people, we must do our homework and do it early. We must listen to what candidates are saying to determine their message–regardless to whom they’re speaking–is consistent. We must not become–one issue voters–for when we allow the one issue to influence our decisions, we ultimately allow the wrong person to be elected. We must remember–elections have consequences--and that we will seldom agree with everything any one candidate about everything.

Many people have developed their own formula for determining how they’ll vote. Mine is simple–will I regret voting for the individual at a later date? If I can see where a candidate falls in line with at least 3/5 issues that matter to me, that’s the person I’ll choose. I can always fight for the other two at a later date. If there’s only one or two issues I agree with, I won’t vote for them–that’s too much of a risk to regret.

Since I am a political activist promoting the Democrat’s agenda, I suggest that the DNC and all of its affiliates spend some quality time educating voters about why we should put them in office and not just about voting against trump. Provide the facts, not speculation–with data easily understood. Provide a clear unified message and acknowledge room for improvement in a position on any issue. Include everyone–without a purity test–since none–no, not one–is a perfect human being. We don’t need perfect human beings–we need compassionate, empathetic, people with integrity in office–those who will govern for all the people and not just some.

As the campaign season progresses, I will continue to write about what we should be looking for in a candidate who will serve the country well and help to regain our standing on the global stage. Look for it–it will be coming on a regular basis.

truth

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