With both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions happening this month I sat at my dining room table Just Thinkin’ on this rainy 4th of July morning in Terrell, Texas, and what crossed my mind is this:
More frightening than the choices this election year offers are how little those making the choice know, not about the candidates, but about our government, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Polls conducted in the recent past indicate the average American knows very little about the political structure, how Washington works, the issues on the table, why there on the table, or how they got there in the first place. That being said, it appears to me the greatest danger to the American people is the American people themselves.
Most decisions made at the polls is based on cleverly worded rhetoric prepared by speech writers, the voice of spin doctors, nightly news anchors, and third party friends and family members with the latter being the more common generator of the consensus expressed on the ballot. Perhaps a test should be given before a person can be registered to vote. “Ridiculous”, you say? Is it not somewhat ironic that tests are given to ensure competency in so very many areas of life, that an individual must achieve a passing score to show himself/herself qualified to do this, that or the other, yet only a simple 5 minute (or less) form is required to be registered to vote, to allow a decision be made directing the future of our country – go figure.
No, I don’t suspect a Voters Registration Exam will be happening anytime soon, if ever. I do believe, however, that the American people should become more involved in the political process first by acquiring greater knowledge of the process and government in general. For me, it was a sad and eye opening day to find my German wife (a German citizen) knew more about my homeland than did I. Shame on me.
“The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all” ~ John F. Kennedy.