Predictions and people

The winners of tomorrow’s ballot can and should boil their reasoning and excuses down to one word: turnout. JP, it is not true for the left that being more extreme will launch them into office. Regardless of which party gets power, the WRONG thing to say is “we should stick to our guns more.” Combat is not the answer, though it is what we’ll get regardless of who is in the Oval Office. Nor is actual compromise on the right going to be the reason Romney might be office tomorrow.

Who shows up at the polls is the reason. And it is the backbone of democracy.

White, older voters do show up, and they are represented disproportionately as a result. Voter suppression– shortened voting days, identification requirements, advertisements and poll workers that intimidate – these are tricks of the right and could make a real difference. The left could mitigate this malicious legislation by agreeing to “clean up” voter registration rolls. However, the whole matter is the creation of an issue where none exists. There are more important things to occupy anyone’s time. Gerrymandering is another evil of partisan politics that changes voter influence and consequently voter turnout.

Any person on either side of the political spectrum who stays home or does not vote – for any reason – harms our nation. Inflamed and enraged voters are not better voters; educated and empowered voters are.

If the populace of voters were to increase, even by 10% (historically, about 65% turn out for presidential elections, much less in “off years”), we would see that most of us are not ideologues. Our low turnout is simply a slap in the face to our own freedom, and it serves to lower any global image of this country being exceptional, or even great. Most of us simply want to see actual results and productivity from our government. The vast majority know that genuine deliberation over issues will get us there.

Furthermore, the platform of the democrats is clearly the platform of the present majority of voters. And the right’s agenda will see a shrinking number of supporters. The left’s agenda will gain supporters. Polling and research back this up. The agenda of the right tends to be a wish list, and the left’s is more of a rational plan for public improvement.

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About Jim

I've been leading outdoor environmental education in the YMCA since the 1970s. I love teaching nature, history, current events, being a dad, fixing stuff, groups, and general thinking.
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2 Responses to Predictions and people

  1. JP says:

    You are absolutely right about turnout, and that kind of makes my point, not yours. If turnout is low and that costs Obama, it will be because turnout is low among young voters, those same young voters who were enthused by the hope that change would come four years ago. And if they don’t vote this time, it will be because they saw not change, but rather politics as usual. They saw Obama not try to do much of what he campaigned on, but rather tacked straight down the middle, or rather what passes for the middle in our current politics, which is placating monied powers at the expense of average Americans. Yeah, you don’t say that in so many words, and you can fool a lot of the people, but the young, whose turnout matters so much, have other stuff to do, and they understand fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice, shame on you. I hope enough of them turn out to vote for Obama. You seem to be saying that voter turnout is independent of what voters believe or hope to see happen once a politician is in office, and I don’t get that.
    I’ll agree that the platform of the Dems is more in line with America than the platform of the Reps, and I’ll repeat that the problem for turnout is that the young people who got excited in 2008 just see politics as usual and they don’t see the Dems fighting for their own platform (just one example; you had to search far and wide to see any Democratic candidate touting the wonderful things in the Affordable Care Act).

    • Jim says:

      Real turnout will increase not when the energized wings (the young and liberal,OR the old white and fussy) get their way, but when the public at large sees actual government response to issues.

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