Yesterday I discovered a nursing home resident who was shocked to learn Hillary Clinton supported abortion. New information reversed her position on the presidential election. I suppose it’s not surprising that a nursing home resident is uninformed and was about to vote based on completely incorrect information. The sad truth, however, is that she is not alone.
I’ve also seen interviews with college students who couldn’t identified pictures of Ronald Reagan or Joe Biden, but instantly recognized Kim Kardashian. Like the nursing home resident, these people intend to vote.
These are not isolated examples. Even recovering news junkies like me are ill informed. Consider this: When I step into the voting booth I will have to choose between 13 candidates for president, 24 for senate, and 12 for congress. I have only met one of these candidates who is running for senate and that was many years ago. As a lawyer I am lucky in that I know both candidates for Supreme Court, but I know I am the exception, not the rule. Being a lawyer isn’t going to help me with the Constitutional Amendments. Unlike most folks, I have read the entire PAR analysis of the Amendments but still can’t answer the basic question: which ones should be approved. I am also faced with a library tax renewal. I am against taxes, but am really fond of libraries. What’s a guy to do?
I watched a senate debate recently. Not all the candidates were invited. That would be impractical. The attendees were invited by their percentages in the polls. I am pretty sure we didn’t get to see the best people running. At least I hope not. I learned nothing and will vote for the one guy I have met. My decision for president is based on the slightly less evil alternative in my humble view. On the other races will I be influenced by who has the most signs, the least offensive ads, or who is most “attractive.” I know the candidates with the most money can make the biggest splash. That’s not good.
I’m not much aided by candidate web sites which all have family portraits and promises to change things without specific plans or any real evidence why the candidate will be able to make changes that no one else seems to have been able to do or how these “changes” will make things any better.
The ads don’t help. They just tell me why I shouldn’t vote for someone else. Again, the boys with the bucks make the biggest bang.
I know deep inside that it’s important to vote and I will. However, in most cases I will pull the lever unconvinced that I made right or even informed decisions. I know I am not alone. Is there any surprise that there is both anger and apathy or that there is so much more voting against than voting for?
After 9/11 folks flocked to church. I suspect that may happen after 11/8. I will pray, then vote, then pray some more. I hope the vote will make a difference. I know the prayer does.