Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Ask the Question

It would be a wonderful world if we could all agree on what's important.

  1. A roof overhead, safe water to drink, and food on the table.
  2. Health care.
  3. Education.
  4. Good roads to drive, if you have a car. A city-operated transit system if you don't.
  5. Earning a living to support oneself.
I could go on and so could you. But this isn't about politics today. Rather, it's about the stories that politicians tell or allow to be told that influence you to vote a particular way. You know, or I hope you do, anyway, that not everything that's said in a political campaign is true and some of it is outright lies. On all sides. Both major parties are guilty of it and so are other parties, too. Make no mistake, politicians will tell you what you want to hear or alternately try to scare the hell out of you with tall tales of what 'the other guy believes'.

Let's take the five things I've got listed above. Each of these are topics for the upcoming election that seems like it's been going on for the last two years. Which one will you hear the least about? 


I have a theory as to why, but it's not important to the story that I'm telling you right now. Just know that it's (in my mind) the third most important thing that needs to be dealt with in America right now and it's the one thing that will get NO air time from any candidate or the President. Instead, you'll be given fables about how a particular person who lost her home because of such and such economic policy is now struggling to make ends meet or how another person lost his job and can't put food on the table because of whatever. Stories of loss are powerful and affect you greatly if you let them.

Those stories are important not because they're true (or at least true enough) but because they play on your heartstrings. They tug at you. The writers of such stories embellish quite a bit and the last thing anyone in a campaign wants you to do is question the story. These writers are working on behalf of people who will promise you one thing and take something else away while you're distracted. 

What I try to do each election cycle is look into the Whys of what's being said. Too often, I'm disappointed that the influence of others is working on those who want my vote. So I have to dig deeper to find out what those others want and why they want it and how they anticipate getting it by having an elected official in their 'debt'.

I'm not trying to influence you, my six readers, to vote a particular way. Instead I want you to ask the questions of those asking for your vote. In America, the voice of the people is what's supposed to be the law of the land. The majority of people. You may think that your voice doesn't matter and I understand why but that doesn't excuse you from saying what's on your mind anyway. It may vary from issue to issue but if we can agree that health care is important for everyone, aren't we then just hammering out the details?

Don't let anyone tell you a story that you know isn't true. Don't believe everything you hear or see, either. Find out what's true, what's real, what the motivation is. Then add your voice to the others that think the same way you do. Don't just do it because it's easy; it's not supposed to be easy. Americans are supposed to work for our freedoms and not just hand them over to anyone who says he knows better than you what's right for you. 

If you're American and you vote (and if you're over 18 you SHOULD) then you have some work to do. Don't just listen to mainstream/lamestream media tell you what they think for you. Form some opinions for yourself.

And if you're one of those people who debates the 'lifelike' portrayal of special effects in films (like, say, the lava at the end of The Lord of the Rings), then you're capable of doing the same amount of work to determine where you should cast your vote. All you have to do is care enough to do that.

All you have to do is remember what everyone needs or is entitled to. Start with that list of five things at the top and see where they take you. Get involved in the story, learn the background, and don't let someone show you some unlifelike special effects just to get your vote.

No comments: