As of today, the general election is less than two months away. And you are probably already sick of it. I know I am.
Our televisions shows are getting filled up with commercials. Yard signs are sprouting up. And so are billboards and newspaper ads. It is so easy to just want to tune it all out. About the only people that I know are happy with the proliferation of ads are the people who sell them. And even they get tired of it.
I’m not a huge television fan in the first place. Most evenings I would just as soon turn it off. DVRs do make it easy to skip those ads, of course, and I will freely admit that I often do. Nothing beats pausing the television, heading to the kitchen for a snack and then coming back after you’ve built up a couple minutes of credit to fast forward past the offending commercials.
Last night, though, I actually rewound the television (I do love the technology) so I could actually watch and listen to a couple political ads that I had never seen before. In one case, I heard something from a politician I had never heard speak. In the other, it was a politician who has been around a while, but it was a new ad.
This election is a mid-term election; notable for lower voter turnout and less involvement. That said, a story came out last week that showed that voter turnout exceeded 40 percent when approval of congressional leaders was low. Right now, that approval is at an all-time low so maybe there will be an all-time high turnout for this election.
My humble requests:
- To the candidates: Tell me something about you. Tell me about your vision. And not just “jobs” or “lower taxes”. Other than public works programs the government doesn’t “create” jobs. Lower taxes are fine, but tell me what spending you’re going to cut to pay for it. In other words, I want to see your actual plan.
- To both major parties: please stop running against President Obama. He isn’t on the ballot. I know he is unpopular in this state, but draw a distinction between you and your opponent. Stop tilting at windmills.
- To the electorate: Don’t just accept what they want to tell you. Ask questions. Be informed about your choices. In a couple key races, there are independent candidates. Unfortunately, we haven’t heard much about them, but I hope that will change in the coming months.
If you are angry about the direction our country is headed, and like to vent on social media about how bad things are, don’t sit on the sidelines. Get involved. You don’t have to volunteer for a candidate, but you do have a responsibility to be informed and use your vote responsibly..