Missouri Trout Hunter

Blog for sharing thoughts, beliefs and opinions on issues affecting the world of trout fishing in the Ozarks.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

How to Avoid Voting Stupid

Greetings all! This is one of those rare non-trout related blog articles that I throw up from time to time. I hope you indulge me and read it anyway.

The title of the article probably can give you some notion of my opinion on the state of American politics. Simply put, we Americans have allowed ourselves to become suckers. I remember in social studies class as a kid reading about how propaganda was used on other parts of the world to effectively rally citizens to do crazy things or allow crazy things to occur. We students all shook our heads in amazement that anyone could be so gullible. Well folks, Americans are just the same. We are gullible, and this primary season really shows it in spades. Here are a couple of examples.

Hillary Clinton is losing in the polls by a notable margin, gets teary eyed on camera, and then pulls away with a victory 24 hours later. What changed? I'm not suggested she faked it. I am suggesting that it got a TON of airplay. Here's another. In New Hampshire and Michigan, John McCain WON among voters that OPPOSE the war. At the same time, he LOST among voters that SUPPORT the war. That is the exact opposite of what you might think should happen, since McCain has been a very vocal supporter of the Iraq war from the beginning. The vast majority of registered Democrats feel VERY strongly that taxes should be raised to the moon for the wealthiest Americans, and John Edwards is the only remaining viable candidate that agrees -- while he hangs in third place. What's going on?

Americans have a great strength that I believe other countries often lack -- heart. We are intuitive, compassionate, loving, supportive, and we wear our hearts on our sleeves. Much of the rest of the world hates us, because they view us a too proud of ourselves, too greedy, and so on, and perhaps they have a point on some level. But no other country's citizens give as much of themselves financially and physically to the rest of the world as we do. This emotional strength, though, has always been tempered with intellect. This is why you don't generally see many riots in this country. We work hard on not getting swept away by the emotion of the moment.

As I follow the primaries, I'm continuing to be amazed at the rationale people express when promoting their candidate. It saddens me to hear that people are voting for a candidate simply because "he inspires me". It freaks me out when I hear someone say they'll vote for a candidate "because he's a Christian". I'm a Christian, too. Most of us are Christians in this country. In fact, all of the candidates are Christians. Are you the best person to judge which one is the "best" Christian?

Here's the bottom line. I really don't care what your beliefs are, what party you belong to, or who you vote for, as long as you don't vote stupid. I hope everyone will follow this advice. First: find out which candidates you agree with the most and why. You can do this very quickly and easily by visiting Glass Booth. Glass Booth is a non-profit non-partisan organization simply dedicated to helping Americans sift through the propaganda of politics and learn exactly which candidates they agree with the most. After completing their 5 minute quiz, you'll be able to click on candidates to see how much you agree or disagree with exactly what the candidates believe based on what they've said they believe. Second: now that you have that information in hand, by all means think about who inspires you, who you trust, who shares your religious beliefs, what your intuition tells you, etc. We're still Americans, and we've learned to trust our gut. Just don't blindly follow your gut without getting some cold hard facts first!

Super Tuesday is coming! VOTE SMART!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the website. Both yours and Glassbooth.org. I just went there and found it very interesting. Also liked the quiz they have where you answer a few questions and it tells you which 3 candidates agree with your views and what percentage of your views you have in common.
Thanks again - very informative.

pb from st. louis, mo

6:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You bet!

I've been surprised that I've actually received NEGATIVE emails regarding this article. One person told me that Glass Booth "obviously has skewed their results", which is ridiculous. If you go there and play around with their test, you'll find that you get a variety of results based on how you answer. There have been many MANY people who have tried to come up with dirt on this organization, but no one can find anything wrong with what they're doing or how they're doing it. As their reputation continues to grow, we citizens will finally have a means to learning the TRUTH about what candidates truly believe. Maybe that will finally be the end of "politics as usual" and lead us into a new era of seeing our elected leaders simply leading.

BTW, Glass Booth doesn't just show you the top 3 candidates you agree with. There's also a pull-down menu where you can look at how much you agree with each and every candidate. There's also a link you can click to learn more about WHY the test scored things the way it did. For example, if the quiz says you agree with candidate Bob 88%, you can click "why?" to learn where they got that number. Glass Booth is working hard at being completely transparent (hence the name). We should do all we can to support them!

8:56 AM  

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