Treasured Voices Give Us Focus

Voices have much to offer us

We listen to voices all our lives to guide us, inspire us, and encourage us to do something. Parents, teachers, ministers, doctors, and bosses are a few of these voices that provide sage advice, explanations for what we experience, and an insight to our future.

Do we listen to these voices? How well we do often determines our successes and failures in life.

A voice from the past guides our future

Stephen Hawking, noted physicist, left us recently, passing away at the age of 75 on March 14. His voice continues to inform and encourage us via his many writings. One can quickly appreciate his candor, wit, and superior intelligence though he spent most of his lifetime in a wheelchair.

032118 Stephen Hawking

Such an intelligent voice admonishing all of mankind to be curious should not be taken lightly. We all should heed the call to be curious – to seek answers.

Voices from our youth urge us to act

A new set of voices has now caught our nation’s attention. From the Parkland school shooting this past Valentine’s Day has erupted a youthful cry across the nation. High school students have taken it upon themselves to march and speak to power their expectation for adults to be accountable.

032118 Student March

Do we listen to these voices that ask – no, demand – that legislation be passed to make them safe in school?

A voice among us calls for listening and mutual respect

Another piece of advice has emerged among many voices in Van Jones’ Beyond The Messy Truth. It’s one of those books that should be read by citizens of all political perspectives. He’s a progressive that makes his living listening to conservatives. Van Jones has much to say to all of us, regardless of our political stripe.

He says, “In the end, the promise of America is liberty and justice for all. My fellow liberals are so focused on justice we too easily forget about liberty. Conservatives can be so committed to liberty that you become blind to cases where injustice curtails freedom. We need each other. We cannot improve this country alone.”

Van Jones calls us to listen to each other. To do otherwise invites a cacophony of noise that serves to drown out each other and invites mob rule. He continues by saying, “We need people all along the political spectrum. This is how families work. This is how neighborhoods work. And this is how America is supposed to work.”

It’s not easy to follow such advice—to listen to another’s point-of-view and to consider common ground and common values. Yet, it is the only strategy wherein mutual respect is discovered.

Such voices should affect our presidential elections

Are we willing to listen to voices such as these?

These voices, I hope, lead us to consider how we elect our nation’s president. As we consider our Electoral College and the unfairness of the winner-takes-all approach, do we permit ourselves to be curious? Do we pursue better perspectives? Are we moved to take action, to make changes? And, finally, are we mature enough to realize we need all voices in our presidential selection process?

Equal Voice Voting (EVV) may require curiosity to learn of the facts and nuances of this more fair voting approach. Some facts worth considering are:

  • It takes three registered voters to elicit one viable presidential ballot. This is because of the low voter turnout and that around half of the votes cast are not represented in the Electoral College. (Let that one sink in a bit.)
  • The Electoral College is not the problem in realizing fair representation. Rather, the winner-takes-all approach is the cancer on the system. The National Popular Vote bill will not eradicate this kind of tumor.
  • The National Popular Vote bill will cause states to forfeit their voting voice for that of the interstate compact. Local issues, values, and priorities will be ignored.

EVV certainly requires action from citizens (you) to share the information and legislators to heed your call. It also requires all of us to listen to all political voices, escape our own bias bubbles, and make a difference.

Let’s make every vote count and make every state matter.