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Do People Know How to Vote?

Robin Olsen has lived for half a century. No experience is a bad experience unless we learn nothing from it.

Do we actually know anything at all about any of this?

Do we actually know anything at all about any of this?

Politics can be a confusing mess, especially for the uninitiated.

  • Issues are presented without facts.
  • Fear mongering runs rampant in all our political discourse.
  • We have candidates who think insulting the other candidate while ignoring questions on issues is how to win votes.

This article is written to help sort out the political mess we are in. It is not meant to be a immediate solution, but rather an attempt to change how we vote and how we choose a candidate. What we have seen in the last few years is fear mongering, race baiting, putting international issues that are irrelevant above important local issues, and catering to minorities over the needs of the majority. This is not how a democracy is supposed to work.

Understanding the Issues

Many of us do not fully understand the issues we are voting on. Be that a single issue or multiple issues and in an effort to win the vote we generally get fear mongering about issues instead of facts to vote on. It may actually be impossible for an average citizen to understand all the ins and outs of every issue there is but there are general things we should keep an eye out for whenever we are presented with an issue to vote on.

Beware issues presented with global meaningless statements. Many issues are presented this way, with global and normally meaningless statements, but we never actually get a good view of exactly what the issues are, what makes it an issue and most importantly, how the politician is going to work towards resolving the issue.

Politicians should be made to explain their positions and not distract the voting public with meaningless statements and by throwing mud at the opposition.

Global meaningless statements lead to misunderstandings of what the issue is and what those voting on the issue can expect. They also inflame emotions and this leads to snap decisions that are not always wise. Never get behind any issue that is presented with global all encompassing statements as this is simply a distraction. When presented with this look for what they are not talking about. That is most likely a more important issue for you to consider.

What's with all the hate?

Beware of speeches laden with hate mongering and mud slinging. These politicians are not actually discussing issues they are simply inflaming hatred in order to generate an emotional response that leads to you voting for them. Nazis were pretty good at this until they did away with elections all together, but if you ever listen to an early speech by Adolf Hitler you will get a good example of hate mongering.

One should never support anyone who says they want to talk about issues yet spends all their campaign time insulting the other candidate. Such people have no concern for issues. They will not be any better than the one they are insulting, and will certainly be worse the the one who spends their time actually discussing issues.

We will never know everything there is to know about the real issues of the day but we can determine how much the politician knows by how they speak about them, or if they speak about them.


The Single Issue Voter

Single issue voting is a habit many of us have gotten into and incredibly dangerous in a democracy. Most lock onto their one issue and vote for that candidate who supports their stance and dismiss themselves from any responsibility afterwards by saying "I didn’t vote for them to do that."

Single issue voters never consider ‘The Big Picture’, or where their one issue fits into that big picture. So a candidate can focus on that one issue and can deceive the voter into voting for something they would otherwise have never supported had they been paying proper attention. Then, when a politician does something bad, they claim to have ‘total support’ but most who voted for them had no real clue they were going to do what they did.

Ideology and the Voting Public

Most of us voting types, single issue or otherwise, see ideological beliefs as the single most important thing to study regarding any politician you may want to vote for. We tend to lock ourselves into political parties to do this. We vote for colors… blue, red, orange, purple, green. We are ‘conservatives’, we are ‘liberals’ – left wing vs. right wing, etc.

The funny thing about ideology is that it is all meaningless generalization. Ideological beliefs are mostly used to trick voters into supporting someone whom, if they actually studied the person, they would never have voted for. If I had to make a list, ideological beliefs and party affiliation would be almost third and fourth on my list of important things to consider. The first two would be honesty then integrity. Both these things come before ideology because it would be illogical to believe in a known liar who most likely is just ringing your ideological bell to get your votes and has no intentions of actually performing as advertised afterwards but will claim to ‘have total support’.

Corrupt politicians have become masters at manipulating people who follow an ideological belief too closely and may not be paying full attention to whom they are supporting. They say what the voter wants to hear then do whatever amuses them afterwards and just claim to ‘have your full support’. Adolf Hitler used ideological manipulation to gain total power in Germany. That led to a holocaust and a major global war.

So an honest person who seems totally opposite to your ideological beliefs is by far a superior choice over a liar who is most likely blowing sunshine up your skirt to get your vote.

in a selection process that determines who the government is there are no winners or losers, it is simply a decision to make nothing more.

in a selection process that determines who the government is there are no winners or losers, it is simply a decision to make nothing more.

The Day After the Vote: Living With the Hangover

So now you have voted. Your candidate lost so what do you do? Protest? That makes no sense. The people have spoken and the system has decided, protesting the election results simply because you did not like the outcome is exactly the kind of twisted activity that professional activists will drag us into if we let them. The protests are meaningless as the system has already decided and even if you make the winner look like the loser they are still the winner. Nothing is accomplished by protesting.

Democracy is a tool that people use to select representation based on a majority support. The hardest place to live in a society that uses democracy is in the political minority. It seems like no one believes in what you do, but this is what a democracy is. The alternatives are usually worse. One simply needs to know how to vote.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2017 Robin Olsen