“Tucked deep in North Carolina's election revision law that has stirred great passion is a provision that barely gets noticed.”
That's how an August article on the News Observer website begins. Gee, I wonder where this is leading? And as predictable, it rambles on how this is the Republican's way of keeping voters from having “a handy way to participate in many contests with a single mark for a party’s slate of candidates.”
Really? This is how you want your voters voting? In a handy way? I read that as a lazy way. And why this country is in such a shambles as it is. Instead of voting for the best person to represent them, they just lazily vote for the party that they think represents their values.
Yeah, right. The only values a political party cares about is one, how they can get elected / re-elected and two, how their “money” wants them to vote. Years ago, the Republican Party was the party of caring and the Democrats were the greedy corporate types. Somewhere along the lines, the Democrats convinced the people that they were the party of social change and caring and that the Republicans were the greedy SOB's. (And it became true. But then it changed again - but not in a good way.)
But, as always, the truth is somewhere else.
Today, the political party system is all about staying in power, catering to special interests and letting the less than scrupulous big money people frame the laws in their best interest.
The people are nowhere to be seen in the equation of modern government.
Gone is the government “of the people, for the people and by the people.” As much as we'd like to think otherwise.
So whats the answer?
Vote them all out!
Yeah, nice sentiment, but that doesn't really work, does it. Not only do they never get “all voted out”, the people who actually vote in numbers are the ones who are too lazy to look at all the candidates on the ballot.
So its just a popularity contests influenced by a media that is bought and paid for by the political parties they are supposed to be watchdogging.
Its a vicious circle. Truly it is.
But I have the answer. Not a perfect answer. But an answer thats better than allowing the 14 states out there that still have it. Do away with ALL straight party voting. Make the voters choose their candidates wisely and not through skewed news and campaign ads.
Okay, so the first part is easy. States need to do away with the straight ticket voting and their courts need to stop giving in to BS lawsuits trying to get it back.
Making people accountable for WHO they vote in is NOT racist. It is NOT a ploy by one party or another to gain an advantage. Its about making the voters do their homework before they get into the voting booth.
Wow, an informed electorate! What a concept.
But its the second part that is going to take work. There needs to be a law banning all negative ads. If you want people to vote for you tell them why they should vote for YOU. Don't tell them why NOT to vote for the other candidate. That's their decision. Anyone flooding the airwaves and the newspapers and billboards and mailings who stoop to negative campaigning should be ripped off the ballot.
And before you say that candidates would just sue their opponents claiming negative ads, there needs to be accountability. Have a strict set of guidelines on what is a negative campaign strategy and what would constitute a valid lawsuit. And in the second part of that, make the consequences of a spurious lawsuit be having the person bringing it ripped off the ballot.
Contrary to this article in the News Observer, and all the whining out there being done by both parties over this matter, straight ticket voting hurts America. It hurts all of us. And it is the lazy man's way to vote.
I know of people in the Democratic party that are really concerned citizens wanting to make a difference, wanting to serve their country and represent their constituents. I also know of republicans who are that way. And Green party and independents and people of every stripe and color.
They care. They work hard. But they cannot do their jobs if the people keep voting a straight party down the line without doing their due diligence before stepping into the voting booth.
If they vote straight Democrat than they are voting on the PARTY Agenda. Which means the republican on the ballot who is better than the Democrat doesn't get in. And America suffers. Same with the Democrat who deserves a chance but is wiped out by the straight Republican voter.
And then there are all those independent candidates out there who realize the party system is broke, but can't even get in the door to fix it because of the lazy voter.
Just take for example the guy in Texas who should never have been elected but was voted in because of the straight line voters. If the voters had done their homework on this guy they would have said “whoa, no way!”
In 1994, Steve Mansfield was elected to the state's highest criminal court . . . with no criminal court background, despite claims to the contrary, and a very dubious past. Part of that included being fined in Florida for practicing law without a license. Mansfiled himself said he didn't expect to win and said his campaign would have been “dead in the water” had anyone looked into his background.
This kind of thing will happen every time you vote straight line and do not KNOW who the heck you are voting for.
Stop being lazy! Stop being sheep and believing the lies the political parties feed you! You're not babies who need to be spoon-fed pablum, you're responsible adults who not only have a right vote but you have a duty to be informed. And for heaven's sake, stop being brainless masses for the irresponsible media to fill up with whats popular at the moment and spewing out the words of who's got the most power! I feel shame for my colleagues who don't have the backbone to stand up to the corporate bean counters who worry about ratings and access. They are shirking their duties as the fourth estate, the watchdogs they are supposed to be. (But that's a rant for another time.)
And don't just take my word for any of this. Look around. Research. (Lots of places to do this - but don't pick just one. Like PolitiFact and Snopes. And you can check voting records at GovTracks and Project VoteSmart.) Be responsible adults. Do whats right, not whats easiest or laziest or popular.
But hey, who am I right? This is just me, Thinking Out Loud! Have a great day!