Most of my life I could not have cared less about politics. I believe it was CNN’s live broadcast of the bombing of Baghdad in the early 90s that first really got my attention. That, coupled with my brother’s deployment in Desert Storm, nudged me into pausing my busy life and listening. With my new awareness, I began reading more political articles in newspapers and magazines, and I started catching a few cable news shows during the 90s. But it wasn’t until the 2000 elections that I really became mentally engaged. In this last decade since then, I have read and listened carefully to as much as I could reasonably fit into and absorb in an average day. Now, because my life has changed and I have more time, writing seems to be a natural progression.
So I begin with the universal statement made by politicians all over this country… “American voters are smart. ” What they never say though, is that American voters are busy people with busy lives, and that smart or not, we are all susceptible to behaving like witless automatons when it comes to deciding who or what gets our vote.
Its not our fault. We are asked to choose a winner between two teams that we seldom have time to watch. We don’t know the players or their coaches. We don’t know the owners or what deals are being made behind the scenes. We never knew or only recall some of the history of either team, and what is recalled , is different for each of us. To make it worse, the teams play without divulging the true rules of the game, and the referees take sides while pretending to be fair and unbiased. There is so much we don’t know and yet we must decide. We want to make the right decision. We want our vote to count for something. So we listen to the chants, and the cheers, and the boos, and to the fans that seem most like ourselves.
It is my hope that in the days to come I will be able to sort through all the political jumble in my head. (The elections are only days away.) Writing helps me focus and prioritize. If sorting through my jumble in this way is in anyway helpful to another voter, then my time spent will be doubly beneficial.