Saturday, February 9, 2008

How to Vote

Wednesday, February 6, I came across a blog of triumphant overtones. In this blog, the author detailed an arduous caucus line he endured in freezing temperatures, rain, and sleet to vote for Barack Obama. I admired his tenacity, until I read the last paragraph that explained he had endured so that he could tell his future offspring that he stood out in the harsh elements just to vote in the first black president of America.

Before I go any further, allow this disclaimer: The following does not stand as any endorsement of any candidate.

Besides the fact that voting based solely on the color of one’s skin is racism (Clinton, Huckabee, McCain, and Paul don’t stand a chance based on this criteria), it is stupid. Voting based solely on anything other than platform is unfair not only to America and her constituents; it is unfair to the candidate. In the cited example, those things which Barack Obama is fighting for are being trumped by superficiality.

Obama’s race is just the most recent example. In the past few weeks I have heard more than a few people say they are voting for him because he is a gifted and charismatic speaker. Wow! Great criteria…so was Hitler. In the past few weeks I have heard more than a few people say they are voting for Huckabee because solely because he is a Christian. Brilliant! We all know that Christians always hold an impeccable track record (wasn’t Richard Roberts in the news recently?). In the past few weeks I have heard more than a few people say they were voting for Hilary Clinton because it is about time a woman sat in the Oval Office (gender discrimination).

When I have had the chance to talk with some folks mentioned above, I have asked them point blank questions about their candidate of choice, such as, “What is Huckabee’s economic policy? Every time I receive a stammering, uninformed response that is so general it could apply to any candidate on either end of the weird political spectrum.

We are a shallow people. We are plebeians. We poignantly driven. We live in a nation in which we have the freedom to be wrong, but also to be right. Thus, we cannot vote according to our nature, according to our predisposition, our rearing, our cliques, etc. Here is my advice to anyone who stumbles across this post:

Before you head out to cast your primary vote, do this. Go to EVERY candidate’s website. Pretend that there are no suave or moving pictures of each candidate. Find out where each candidate stands on the important issues (in my humble opinion, the most important issues this election are economic and foreign policy). After having done so, whichever candidate most precisely matches where you stand on the issue, whether they are liberal or conservative, vote for that candidate.

If this struck a nerve in anyone, pass it on.

4 comments:

Jason said...

Sadly that picture represents the majority of the populous.

nate said...

Your right! A new time article talks about how more young people are voting this time around, which is great...but they note that most young people vote based on Charisma. Honestly though, I never did any research on any candidates until my mid twenties!

Vince said...

We are in for an ugly next four years when president McBamery takes over.

nate said...

I'll say "amen" to that Vince. I like that term (McBamery)--don't you just love the plethora of choices we are going to have to choose from?