Elections are less than a month away. The TV and radio are full of political ads, mostly ugly. Digital analysts are busy telling politicians what you — you — like and dislike. Money flows like the flooded rivers of North Carolina through digital media. Advisors are paying gigantic sums to learn what prejudicial buttons their political clients should push.
What is missing in this picture? You and I. No one, pretty much absolutely no one, is asking us to sit down and think out exactly what it is that we want. No one is taking the time to explain things like gerrymandering and tariffs and taxation and debt. No one is having an objective discussion of the best plan for health care or a safe environment or education. Those who are running for office are being told that such objectivity doesn’t matter, or, worse, is actually antithetical to their chances for gaining office. Feed the prejudices, they are told, and you can do all your goodie goodie stuff once you reach office, which is another lie.
Whose fault is this? Everybody’s. The real question is: what are you doing about it? If you are anything like me, busy with living, the answer is likely: nothing. Well, that’s not good enough. Do you want this country run on prejudice or on sound policy? The choice is up to you, and the way to choose is to let the politicians know what you want. That’s right. You have to do that. How? Write to all the candidates about whom you are concerned. Give them a list of what you want to see out of your government. Tell them you don’t give a damn whether they hug babies or hand out food to the homeless. Hand them your list, and tell them your vote depends on whether they agree to that list.
Here is my list.
- I want taxes raised, particularly on the wealthy, in such a way that our deficit gets paid down.
- I want a policy of military spending that saves the efforts to protect our country from foreign assault and that otherwise withdraws from foreign entanglements.
- I want a full-forward commitment to reduce the impact of our country’s activities on the environment and that encourages other countries to follows suit.
- I want a plan of universal basic health care that reduces the per-person cost of medical care, through the elimination of subrogation and the collective bargaining power of the nation against the manufacturers and distributors of medical products.
- I want an end to gerrymandering and the creation of an objective, non-partisan group of people to design voting districts based on publicly announced objective principles.
- Well, I want a lot of other stuff that nobody will give me anyway, so I won’t list any more. Most of all, I want us, you and me, to vote in people based on real, achievable political goals, and not on the grounds of what my viewing habits are or even what the color of my skin is.
So. Make a list. Yours will likely differ from mine. That’s great. If your list wins, I’ll live with it. But at least we will have voted people in for real reasons. Go get ’em.