Getting involved in political or religious arguments is something I avoid. But that doesn’t mean I’m apathetic or don’t have opinions. I’m about as politically neutral a fellow as you will ever meet. And as far as preaching goes, I don’t. I believe what I believe and most of you wouldn’t believe what I believe – and thats okay. What I will say is that over the centuries a lot of people have died because of both politics and religion and the death tolls are still mounting.
The point of this – whatever this blog post is – is to state my feelings about why people are disenfranchised and unrepresented. It’s pretty clear that modern mass media has become a propaganda instrument, regardless which side of any argument they support. Despite every major issue having multiple aspects and varying shades of gray between the extremes, our political system, being dominated as it is by two major parties, the media portrays choices in terms of an artificial dichotomy. If pressed about other views and opinions they will outright tell you that you are wasting your vote unless you side with one or the other major political parties.
But that’s analyze that more closely. Somewhere between 25 and 30% of the population declares political affiliation with the Democratic Party. Roughly the same number declare membership in the Republican Party. What is misleading in these number is that they are based on party registration which in many states is required in order to vote in a primary election. In some states you can vote for the opposite party’s slate of candidates in a primary which confuses the matter even more since in those states it has happened that Democrat turn out to vote for the Republican candidate least likely to win against a Democratic opponent – and vice versa.
So I’m not sure how many Republicans or Democrats there really are but I have read that about 15% of the population identities themselves as liberal while somewhere between 15% and 20% state they are conservative. For argument’s sake, lets say that both extremes have about 17% of the population. That means 34% – a little more than one third of the voting aged public strongly supports one extreme political view over the other. But that about all those registered voters who claim they are Democrats or Republicans? Twenty-six to thirty percent of the public declares party affiliation without strong support. In election campaigns those are people who may or may not vote, or in polling terminology ‘the undecided’ voters. They are lumped in with the undecided who declare themselves ‘independent’ because those people sometimes vote as well. And, oddly enough, those independents comprise roughly 40% of the registered voters.
The media, pollsters and both political parties couldn’t care less about the voting aged people who don’t want to vote. They count on them staying home. To the media they are brain dead. Their minds have been numbed into apathy toward anything other than their favorite TV shows and sports teams. They do not pay attention to the news unless they have to – like in the vent of an emergency evacuation or severe weather. They work, pay taxes and pretty much do what they are supposed to do, which is stay away from the polls come election day. .
Now, I admit my numbers are estimates based on educated guesses from what I have read. They are not precise but I bet they are pretty close. Yet the mass media would have us believe that we must support either the liberal or the conservative point of view. How many times has a third party candidate throated to shake up an election? Remember the media telling you not to bother voting for that candidate because your vote won’t really count? But how can that be? Well, simply put, it is not the real case. Provided everyone who is declared independent and those who declare a leaning to one or the other party without firm support actually shifted their votes to a third party, that candidate could actually win. Historically it has happened, though not in recent times.
Instead of being divided 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans as the media would have us believe, the truth is quite different. A distinct plurality believe something between the two extremes that is largely unrepresented by either extreme of the political spectrum. Why else is it that around election time both major parties begin to modify their rhetoric to court votes from the centrist perspective? It’s because the middle ground is where most Americans opinions reside.
The two political parties count of low election turnout because it supports their best interests. Their loyal supports numbers are effectively made much more important that way so, in effect, their votes count more. Historically between 40 and 50% of voting age people will not vote in any election. They remain disenfranchised because they are not motivated by either political party to go to the polls or request an absentee ballot. Neither major party cares all that much about them or what they believe. They assume those people won’t vote and pray they do not because they present an unknown variable in their scientific polls simply because they do not know much about them and couldn’t care less about finding out.
However, those people don’t vote because neither major party candidate excites them. The political parties do not express their views. If asked their opinions on elections they are likely as not to say they have none or that both candidates are despicable, though perhaps for different reasons, and therefore undesirable. Why bother voting for someone who puppets the platform of a political party that doesn’t represent the interests of a majority of people?
And so we end up with a government at every level that doesn’t reflect the interests or care for the needs of the majority.
The reason all this came to mind is that elections are less than a month away. Gasoline prices are trending down. Unemployment figures are also trending down. Imagine that! Seems like those in power plan to stay in power, depending on the people believing the illusion that things are getting better.
#Politics #Voting #Democrats #Republicans #MassMedia #Propaganda #Elections