Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Disfranchisement of "We the People"

When a toilet won't stop running (mine is doing that at this very moment) you shake the handle until it stops. If a tooth has a cavity you go to the dentist and get it fixed (and then pay him/her a lot of money).

It is my belief that our election process (oh, and what a process it is) is kaput. I will even go as far as to say that the process is disfranchising "We the People." This is not the type of disfrachisment that by law prohibits indivudials from voting due to criminal conviction. No, this type of disfranchisement does not take away our right to vote at all. This type of disfranchisement takes away the right for our vote to be meaningful. When I say meaningful, I mean well-informed and consequential. The vote should mean more than "I like that dude" or "She is a chick, I will vote for her."

Here are a few of many reasons why:

1) The current media situation: How can America choose their next president when the majority of the information presented to them is offered in a similar way Entertainment Tonight covers celebrity gossip (which I absolutely loathe). I also have a difficult time beleiving that the media is "fair and balanced" as they boast.

2)The primary debates (or any debate): There a a few moments of light in these debates but they are few and far between. As I watched most of the recent debates (Democratic and Republican) I tried to do so with an open mind. I attempted to see what all had to offer but I found it very difficult to ever come to a conclusion about any of the candidates, even those that I had already preconceived notions (good or bad) about. I wondered how in the Sam Hill (who is this Sam guy by the way) could the undecided average American ever come to a well-informed conclusion. They likely couldn't. So they go back to the "likeability" factor. "He made the funniest jokes, I will vote for him," or "He talked about Jesus, I will pull the lever for him." Oh, and after every debate the representatives for each candidate declares that their candidate won the debate and rightfuly so.

3) The process itself: Now, I do not understand a lot of things. Especially those things that are not understandable. Who decided that Iowa and New Hampshire should go first? Who decided that Texas (a super big state) does not participate in super Tuesday? Who decides how many delegates go to each state? Who decides that some states are "winner takes all" states? Who decides that some of the Democratic caucus states (Michigan for example) award zero delegates to the winner when America Samoa (UHHHH?) award delagates to it's winner? This is not right. The toilet is running over.

4) Celebrities: Chuck Norris..... please! Why should I vote for somebody because they are endorsed by a celebrity? Celebrities are so out of sync with reality and the real America that if they were do endorse a candidate that should be a great reason NOT to vote for their candidate. Unfortunately, that is not the perspective of the rest of us.

5) Shenanigans: (See previous blog entitled "Son of a "Bee") Shortly after blogging about my baptist friend I found out that the reason Huckabee won West Virginia was that "Juan" Mcain (knowing that he had no chance) had encouraged his supporters to throw their votes the way of the former evangelical minister. They did. By doing so they gave the delegates (18 I believe) to Huckabee. How mad would that make you if you were a West Virginain voting for Romney? If that does not discourage a person from voting I don't know what would. If I were Huckabee I would feel a little embarassed about this one. He did give a great victory speach afterwards though.

It is reasons like these that I (and many others) feel disfranchised. So, here is my question to you. What would you do to fix these issues. A "winner takes all" decathalon? An election where every single person votes (not caucuses) on the same day? A one time event where each candidate on both sides are hooked up to the lie detector test and asked about the issues? Blog about it and entitle it "We the People".


Talia said...

Man, I don't know if i'm informed enought to blog about something like this. But this is the exact reason that I have never voted during a presidenctial election. My vote doesn't count. Were a Republican state, our electorial votes (all 4 of them) won't be affected if I vote or not. I've always thought that this process was dumb. It has never made sense.

Rachel said...

Yeah, I'm so happy you set up a blog. I see that you are taking requests for baby names. That must mean your prego. Congratulations!

Josh & Brittany Miles Family said...

Forget business bro, you should be a writer. I love reading your blogs. To the point, common sense, what all of us are thinking but don't know how to say kind of stuff. I really enjoyed your "We the people" or should we call it "we the puppets".

Steven & Daniela said...

hey! sorry about my feistiness this evening. i'm impatient and easily annoyable & those people are bugging me! sorry-thank you for helping us, though... :) i borrowed the picture of boston for my post... hope that's ok! see ya tomorrow! tell ashley i said hi!!