Politics 101: Educate yourself before you vote…

Politics– a subject that has the most significant impact on each and every one of us, yet is possibly the least understood at its core. Here are a few bullet points that in my humble opinion, sum up what Politics is all about:

  • Republicans and Democrats both play to the rich 1% and to the following industries: Oil, Pharmaceutical Companies, Defense Contractors, Banks and Insurance Companies.
  • Republicans either take their talking points from Fox News or say things to get picked up on Fox News.
  • No matter who is elected, it is never as good, or as bad, as we expect it to be.

In essence, all of us, in each state, city and county, are “free” to elect their own representatives, to local governmental bodies or federal ones. And for those who are interested, with a little research, you can educate yourself and obtain a clearer understanding of the competing ideologies or methodologies that our elected officials use for governance, and you can actually see how these ideologies work for different groups of people in different situations in your own city or town. This is so important because we must be able to set aside our personal biases and be objective when it comes to hearing the messages that are being delivered to us. This is vital when it comes to picking our elected officials strategically from a variety of different perspectives.

Not everyone has the desire or the wherewithal of course to take the time to do this, of course, but when it comes to our local elections, this is precisely where this must happen! Locally is where we have the most influence on choosing the person who will directly impact our lives with the policies that the officials will ultimately support and implement, like zoning laws, school budgets, the minimum wage, the infamous soda tax measure, etc.

Now, when it comes to electing the President, well, let’s be honest, “We the People” DO NOT elect the President. Our state’s delegates, who make up the Electoral College, are allowed to cast their votes to whichever candidate they damn well choose, regardless of who the “People” have chosen as their leader of the free world. Now considering the large following of supporters Trump has, this might just be one of those blessings in disguise!

It’s rather unbelievable that a large percentage of Trump’s supporters tend to be  blue-collar, and come from the modern day Rust Belt stretching from upstate New York down into Appalachia and then parts of the South. .. Trump, in other words, has become the unlikely Voice for the white-working class.

For whatever reason, the words that come out of that man’s mouth seems to resonate with folks who used to feel middle-class, but don’t anymore—or at least not as securely—now that so many jobs have been outsourced. And these people feel like immigration is making this even worse, thanks to Trump himself: “Decades of record immigration have produced lower wages and higher unemployment for our citizens, especially for African-American and Latino workers”.

He also strategically capitalizes on the concerns the shrinking middle class has in regards to globalization, low-wage immigrant labor, and free trade.

Just thinking about the possibility of this man becoming President is pretty depressing I must admit. I can’t say that I’m a hundred percent team Hillary, but the old adage, “Lesser of two evils” could not be any truer in this election!

We have a profound crisis of confidence in America and that problem stems from Washington and has trickled down to “Us the People“. Now I know most of us can legitimately think of a hundred and one reasons why it’s pointless to participate in the electoral process next week. Most folks believe that their vote doesn’t matter, that neither Trump nor Hillary speak the truth or speak to the issues that truly matter to us. You might feel that the system is corrupt (which it is), or that Wall Street runs the country anyway, and so why waste your time?

From that point of view, it’s easy to become cynical and indifferent to the process, and many folks share that sentiment. The reality is, whatever the outcome on Nov. 8th, nearly half of us will end up unhappy with the result, but I suggest there’s something larger at stake in our choice about whether to vote or not vote:

  • Women weren’t allowed to vote until the 19th Amendment was ratified in 1920
  • Black Americans weren’t allowed to vote until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was signed into law
  • Native Americans weren’t allowed to vote until the passage of the Snyder Act of 1924, also called the Indian Citizenship Act.

Just take a minute to reflect on what this meant to thousands of people who were told that regardless of their contributions to this country, they had no legal rights to vote on issues that would directly affect them. They had no rights, no say in who got elected to any office, despite the fact that this official was expected to speak for them! Their concerns, their voices truly didn’t count, and neither did their votes. People fought, struggled, sacrificed, compromised, were killed for the right that too many of us take for granted.

3 Replies to “Politics 101: Educate yourself before you vote…”

  1. I was literally just talking about this and I used that same phrase “…choosing the lesser of two evils”. I’m not pro-Hillary, but I am most certainly anti-Trump so for that reason I voted proudly yesterday for Hillary.
    And yes people have sacrificed too much for us to take voting for granted.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There was also a poll tax in the South to discourage Black Americans from voting. My mother told me that her Uncle Charlie would collect cans, bottles, etc. and recycle them when he accumulated $2.50. After cashing it in, he would go vote. After paying the tax, he was then given a ballot. This was way before the 1965 Voting Rights Act. I vote for my ancestors!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes of course! And I found it so unbelievable that it wasn’t until the 24th Amendment that the poll tax was banned! And that wasn’t until 1984! Smh.


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