Wednesday, October 10, 2012

My life as a “Low Information” Voter

Posted by on Wed, Oct 10, 2012 at 11:02 AM

First marriages being fodder for all sorts of stories, comical or otherwise, I have gone back to the well of my marriage to Bobbie Jean time and again for stories to amuse or, in a few cases, actually stop people in their tracks.

In the last month I was brought up short by a memory that isn’t all that amusing, though it has seemed that way up until this year.

As Election Day approaches, we find the media - and the political parties, sadly - chasing the “Independent Voters” among us.

The so-called “Swing Voters,” the “Low Information Voters,” as if they are somehow people that we really want in control of our destiny in this country. Men and women who quite literally can’t be bothered to educate themselves on any issues at all, or or learn about any candidates, whether they be national, state or local.

“Some of us have jobs,” they will proclaim with a sneer, as if somehow this political stuff is carried on by lesser beings with too much free time on their hands.

I’ve heard the above excuse used about hundreds of things over the years, whether it be learning about issues or taking the time to get in touch with their elected representatives.

“Some of us have jobs.”

Way, way back in the 1970s, when I was in the midst of my disastrous seven-month first marriage, Time magazine had a great radio ad that used to play on the radio.

A man asked his wife what was going on in different parts of the world, the United States, and arts. Like someone falling for a bad joke, she said, “Okay? What is going on with . . .”

“I don’t know!” he replied (this is all from memory), “I don’t have have a subscription to Time anymore!”

I tried that one on Bobbie, but I won’t repeat her reply here.

I can’t tell you too much of what was going on in the outside world during my marriage; we could have been living on the planet Skaro, for all I knew.

I was thinking about that a few weeks ago when I was going off on Independent/Low-Information Voters. With a sudden start, I realized that I was the classic Low-Information Voter during that period.

We often write about epiphanies as if though are grand things, but in this case it hit hit me with all the force of a jack-hammer. And I was repulsed by what I learned about myself.

I was a Low-Information - hell, let’s stop right there and say what I really was - I was ignorant. And I was ignorant because I chose to be.

Yes, I was married. And I was helping to raise Bobbie’s son, and I had a job.

But I was also going to bookstores every week.

I was watching television.

I was going to movies.

I was engaging my friends in conversation - though not about anything going on in the world.

I was ignorant because I had chosen to be. Perhaps not deliberately, but this was how I wanted to live my life, safe in my cocoon of ignorance. And I blamed my circumstances (my marriage) for my current state.

How long does it take to be informed about what is going on in the world? Really? Not that long. I could have have skipped a few crap movies like Demon Seed, for that.

Who knows? Perhaps I might have enjoyed being one of those “Independent Voters” if I were still married when the 1980 election came around, so that I might be coddled and fawned over by politicians and a media who should know better.

*****

Low-Information Voters and American History

I was reading yet another letter to the editor today, from a writer passing his opinion that the Obama administration is probably the most corrupt in our nation’s history.

Deep, deep sigh.

Ulysses Simpson Grant wasn’t just a great general, he was also a mediocre president. So mediocre, in fact, that his administration is regarded by many as being one of the most corrupt in our history.

That is the problem, I suppose, with many of the super patriots passing judgement on Obama; for them, history books are something to prop up furniture with.

We have a slavish devotion to the Founding Fathers, with people today not only reading what they read, but eating what they had for breakfast.

But after the FF died? The gaps in their knowledge of American history could fill libraries.

Oh, they know about the Satanically-inspired FDR, and Ronald Reagan, but everything g in between FDR and the FF is sort of like a blur.

*****

Jerry Sandusky would have loved this church

In Tulsa, five suspended employees of a mega-church who are awaiting trial because they waited more than two weeks to report the alleged rape of a 13 year-old girl will be returning to their jobs after being suspended, though with different responsibilities

Two of the accused are the son and daughter-in-law of Victory Christian Center’s co-founder and pastor.

So much for setting and following higher standards.

The trial for the five now non-suspended employees will be October 31.

Trick or Treat, folks.

****

Quote of the Day

We always weaken whatever we exaggerate. - Jean-Francoise Se La Harpe

sdrake@cox.net

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