The Frustration Inherent in ElectionsSomervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas

Voting in America

The Frustration Inherent in Elections

21 September 2010 at 7:18:35 AM

Does what we have to say count for anything?

 by Peter Stern

Elections are just frustrating as heck!

Who do you vote for? Who is the best new candidate? Which incumbent has done the least for the community? Then after all that and more, the winner is NOT the one you voted for.


First-off, generally only 5% of all registered voters go to the polls. In some countries voting is compulsory, not-voting punishable by fines or jail time. Maybe that should be done here as well. Some would argue that it would be undemocratic to force people to vote. I personally think it is undemocratic NOT to vote.


Campaigning has changed significantly over the years. campaign management and political strategy that determines it is NOT worth it for an incumbent. After all, in these days of politics those who receive big campaign bucks can make their platforms known more safely, via Internet sites, mailings, TV and radio spots and other advertising. Then all they must do is to tour around and spout their various wisdoms and clichés.


Unfortunately, our say and clout in how our government acts and behaves has diminished greatly since the time of Jefferson and Washington. We can do little when we disagree with our officials. As you stated, the big bucks dictate how too many of our officials act on various issues. "Money talks."


Until we get out in numbers and vote, hold incumbent officials severely accountable for their actions, eliminate huge campaign contributions and stop letting our officials work for lobbyists [the same ones who contributed to their campaigns] after they retire from office, we will continue to have the same problems we currently have. Consequently, the people must "bang-down the doors" and contact their representatives to develop and approve laws that regulate and enforce these issues.


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1 - salon   21 Sep 2010 @ 11:55:46 AM 

What I am frustrated with is the idea that free speech is equated now with money. Why should it be that if a candidate is able to raise more money (thus increasing the chances he or she is beholden to some interest) he or she can have more speech to try to persuade to vote?

Let's take television, which I watch very little of nowadays. During the last election, I saw the same commercials repeated over and over and over. The candidates who didn't have as much money to spend coulldn't buy as much air time, so I saw less of their commercials. The commercials that were shown weren't thoughtful or issue raising but mostly 30 seconds to a minute of nothing. That slants the commercial time to those who are, basically, good looking (or at least come across well in visual media) or who have a *con*fident manner. At least in theory, that's not supposed to be the way we pick candidates. But theory be damned, that's how we do it, and the race goes not necessarily to the best and brightest, but those who know how to pander.

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2 - pstern   21 Sep 2010 @ 6:33:37 PM 

Agreed.  Politics, much like a quality higher education, is for the wealthy.

Latest Blog Post by pstern -Who funds ISIS?
3 - humanbeing   21 Sep 2010 @ 7:41:13 PM 

Americans have become a nation of consumers, first and foremost, programmed by corporate advertising. Campaigns now are all about advertising and image, not substance. Any political debate that might publicly occur is so choreographed as to be meaningless. Then there's the money it takes to get elected in our country: really perverse amounts of money.

I'm afraid we've given our power away over the last decades. We've been prosperous, very spoiled and unwilling to do the work, as citizens, needed to sustain a real Democracy. We haven't been paying attention and now the horse is out of the barn.

Pstern is right. We absolutely must participate. Term limits and public financing for campaigns is a good starting point. Tell your representatives. Keep barking.

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4 - pstern   21 Sep 2010 @ 9:20:02 PM 

All that being stated, I believe it is too late for citizens to rein-in runaway legislators and corporate imperialists.  It is just too late.  We are now 3rd rate citizens in our own nation.  Immigrants are the mainstay of our government.  Outsourcing is key for the imperialists.  We are becoming slaves for our own government.  It is too late to change it.  We have been too lax on so many issues.

Latest Blog Post by pstern -Who funds ISIS?
5 - OldBridge   25 Sep 2010 @ 10:41:09 AM 

>I believe it is too late for citizens to rein-in runaway legislators and corporate imperialists.

It might be best to focus on what can be done locally.

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