One reason why voting is not enough

Voting is important but anyone who thinks that going to the polls and marking the boxes for the best candidates is enough is deceiving him or her self.  There is the problem of the massive number of ill informed or misinformed people who do their duty by marking ballots and the problem of the quality and range of candidates in terms of intelligence, grasp of issues, their own humanity, and their ability to win even if they are best qualified because of the need for party backing and campaign funding.  Too, it needs be asked if public office is really very much attractive to those who are the most highly qualified.

Voting cannot cannot change much of what is discussed above because those in office who were most likely chosen by their political parties have to do what their political parties wish them to do even if doing it violates the very principles that make then good candidates.  Candidates cannot succeed without funding, in this day in age, copious amounts of funding and it is the political parties that, for all kinds of reasons, hardly any of them good, are conduits for the donations that fund candidates.  Perhaps we need to fight to have it made law that only candidates themselves can raise funds for political campaigns?

Perhaps too we should divest political parties of their power in the electoral process.  Maybe we need to have on a national level something like the new California system in which primaries are open and those who get the most votes are the ones who are allowed to run in the regular election.  The role of political parties would be diminished and we could vote for candidates and not parties.  Only party people, I think, would find this a bad idea.  It would force voters to think about candidates which would not be a bad thing.  That it is not uncommon for people to vote by party, no matter who the candidate signifies a kind of intellectual laziness that is endemic to a functioning democracy.  Really, one shouldn’t vote if one does not really know for what he or she is voting.

That said, there are issues that are related to the legitimacy of the vote that probably cannot be dealt with by the vote, that need to be dealt with so that there is a chance that the vote is made meaningful in that the candidates who run are necessarily good candidates and that they have a decent chance to be understood for who they are and what they represent rather than who they can be made to seem by the use of money to hire advertising companies to make them look like they need to in order to get elected.

And, maybe most importantly, for elections and, thereby the vote, to be meaningful in the context of democracy, those who vote must be smart enough and so well informed about what is real as to be able to make meaningful votes.  Manipulation of truth is a dastardly thing.  It is not the same thing as having differences of opinion.  Manipulation is something intentional done to bring about thought or behavior in others of a kind in which they would not engage if manipulation of truth had not played a role.

I can’t advocate for measures of truth control but I can support the idea of punishing through social and economic shunning those who manipulate and those who support the manipulation.  It needs to happen that TRUTH is made precious in this nation and around the world, truth is so valuable that anyone knowing of anyone intentionally messing with the truth is calls it out as one is asked to do if one sees another driving erratically or driving while talking on a cell phone.  Maybe the punishment would be for the perp to be made to engage in a conversation in which he or she would have to explain him or her self.

We live in a society that accepts deception as a natural and normal part of life.  We expect to that someone will try to deceive us several times a day most every day.  It is just how it is, most think, and so it has become allowable encouraged even in college classrooms that are proud to teach the art of deception, this so students can learn a part of what is necessary to succeed in the real world.

Little is done to change that real world because people have been deceived into believing that it cannot be changed, that a world full of lies is a natural result of human beings being human beings.  True?

So, the vote and truth and getting at the truth by thinking deeply about good information.  What could get in the way of that?

Sinclair TV stations around the US are being forced to air this Boris Epshteyn segment where he dishonestly frames Donald Trump as the hero in the family separation crisis and attacks the media and Democrats for being concerned about children in cages. This is state propaganda.

By lafered

Retired professor of education concerned with thoughtfulness

Leave a Reply