There Is No Calm In Today’s Politics
It is almost inconceivable that our nation’s politics will be calm, in any manner, in the remaining days before the upcoming midterm elections (and beyond?). The news is full of divergent messages as our national governing institutions wrestle with law and justice and fairness. It can be nerve-wracking!
Today – We Need Each Other
This blog space is primarily focused on how we elect our presidents. It’s about the mechanism we use, not the people or political parties we choose. In that, it’s devoid of emotion, reliant upon mathematics and statistics, and cognizant of our nation’s history. This blog attempts to address an election system that currently suffers misconceptions that engender enough frustration to actually dissuade American citizens to vote.
Just as importantly, however, I recognize that space must also be given to address our national tone – how we converse with one another. Civil discourse is critical for crafting a positive immediate future and one to endure for future generations. In that, we need each other!
At this time and for this reason, I worry.
We all live in our respective bubbles. It cannot be avoided. None of us are omniscient—knowing everything all of the time.
As our politics become more and more polarized, it affects all of us on a very basic level. My worry is that while we watch our nation’s governing institutions and norms be tested and strained, we the people begin to mirror this dysfunction. The relationships of families and friends become strained when we learn of their differing beliefs and values. What is the cost of this divisiveness—both nationally and in our own homes?
Today’s Political News Stirs Negative Reactions
These are not calm times. It’s important to consider how we become informed. News is pumped at us on a 24/7 basis via a multiplicity of media channels. Further, it’s not enough to simply “label” political news as leaning either left or right, we must also discern if it’s true and factual or not. We must consider context and projected consequences.
We are facing a political storm of epic proportions. Many may hide. Some will become erratic, even abusive. Certainly, we witness values and personal character being tested beyond the norm. Media “noise” is swiftly increasing in hopes of drowning out any and all competition.
It’s time to recognize the need for calm.
What Democracy Means
It might help to recall sage advice provided from John F. Kennedy. Writing in “Profiles of Courage” (1957 Pulitzer Prize-winning book), along with his speechwriter Ted Sorensen, he said this about democracy [please forgive the obvious sexism of the text written over six decades ago]:
Democracy means much more than popular government and majority rule, much more than a system of political techniques to flatter or deceive powerful blocs of voters. A democracy that has … no monument of individual conscience in a sea of popular rule—is not worthy to bear the name. The true democracy, living and growing and inspiring, puts its faith in the people—faith that the people will not simply elect men who will represent their views ably and faithfully, but also elect men who will exercise their conscientious judgment—faith that the people will not condemn those whose devotion to principle leads them to unpopular courses, but will reward courage, respect honor and ultimately recognize right.
We must stay alert and engaged. To do otherwise is to forfeit responsibility and our voting voice and our futures. Our democracy depends upon this. Voting, of course, must be taken seriously. It’s how our democracy functions best.
We Are Called To Respond
So how do we, how can we, put our faith in people, as Kennedy suggested, when we vote? One aspect is to be informed and aware. It means taking in the news, certainly, but it also means listening to those whose opinions differ from ours. This is not a time for complacency. We must be calm and look beyond the political noise to discern the truth that serves all of us well. The political storms we see will get worse in the coming days and, when they do, I hope we recognize; again, we need each other.
Equal Voice Voting is, as I said earlier, a simple mechanism focused only on presidential elections. It’s a voting mechanism that recognizes every state must have an equal representative voice as well as attending to a state’s popular votes.
Equal Voice Voting Rests On A Fundamental Principle
A fundamental premise of the concept is that every vote must count. Today, due to the winner-takes-all approach, around 46% of the votes cast never make it to the Electoral College to be considered. They’re essentially lost. It is a social injustice that escapes our awareness and spoils our election results.
All perspectives are needed in our democracy. All citizens able to vote should do so and should never be turned away or have their vote dismissed. The Electoral College results should accurately reflect the voting sentiment of the nation—from all states and from all voters!
As you take in the news and as you listen to each other, let it be known that Equal Voice Voting promises to serve all of us. It promises to serve us by allowing our democracy to …put its faith in the people.
In the midst of political storms, Equal Voice Voting offers a calm and practical alternative to what we currently experience in presidential elections.