The United States is a Republic (not a Democracy as many are taught in our school systems today). This means we elect people to represent us in the political process. Are you being represented properly? I'm not, and it's starting to upset me...
The people we have elected - for the most part - have used class envy, lies, diversions, and flat out deception to divide this country and play on the fears of the most uninformed of Americans. It doesn't matter whether they are Democrats or Republicans - members of both parties have taken us down this road. And while we can certainly blame those who have cast the votes for the massive increases in entitlements over the last few decades, one look at the percentage of eligible voters to actual voters tells most of the story as to why we find ourselves were we are today. The other issue is the percentage of people who go to the polls uninformed.
For example, most informed voters know that a primary election is substantially different than a general election, as in a primary election you choose a political party and select the candidate that you want to run in the general election, or you can choose an "issues only" ballot and vote only on the issues. If it's your first time voting, I would expect there to be a very small group of people who need to be instructed about the primary election process, but not people who have been voting for years.
During the May 2010 primary elections, I followed an older couple - probably in their 60's - into the polling place. The lady showed her ID and signed the booklet, then was asked if she wanted a Democratic or Republican ballot, or an issues ballot. She was absolutely dumbstruck. "I don't vote for a political party - I vote for the best person for the job." Well, based on the fact that she didn't understand the process of a primary election, how could she know with any certainty which candidate would be the "best person for the job?" Her husband - who initially forgot to sign the voting record log - was equally incensed stating he didn't understand why he had to choose. The poll workers weren't having much luck trying to help these "informed" voters either, as every explanation met with more questions.
I finally spoke up:
Me: "Sir - this is not a general election - this is primary election."
Me: "In a primary election, the person you vote for in will not be elected into any position. They are running - sometimes unopposed - to win the approval of the people in their party to run in the general election. That is why you are asked if you want a Democrat or Republican ballot. Whoever wins their party vote in this election will be on the ballot in November for the General election, where everyone will then choose who will represent us in that position."
Him: "Well, I don't agree with this type of system..."
At that point, I certainly couldn't help him - I mean, we've had this type of system for generations. You mean to tell me him and his wife have been voting like this all of their lives and they didn't even know how the system works? I thought they were informed voters? How is it that we have raised generations of people who know next to nothing about how our electoral system works???
This just tells me those of us who ARE informed have to work harder and pay closer attention than ever. Additionally, we as American's can no longer take our country for granted - we need to register and vote. And when we vote, we need to be prepared. Know the candidates you want to vote for, and know what the issues say and how they will impact everyone - rich and poor, employer and employee - educated and ignorant. Investigate and take a sample ballot with you so you can fill out the actual ballot correctly.
In future entries I will get into my personal voting philosophy, but I want to stress to anyone who decides to read my blog that we must be more vigilant than ever. The future of our country is in very perilous shape. We need to take the proper steps now - to quote Abraham Lincoln - to assure that our "government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
May God help us all if we fail...