Thursday, November 02, 2006

Election day rant

I'm probably one of the approximately 40% of registered voters that will actually vote in US elections in five days. However, I just cannot take it anymore especially in these areas...

Negative Ads: I've read the studies that negative ads are more effective than the "touchy feely ads." But, every ad on television, in the newspapers, and on the radio? Every single ad is saying, "This candidate is bad because blah, blah, blah. Vote for our candidate." Did you know that $160 million has been spent on negative ads verses only $17 million on positive ads. This just makes me sick.

Special Interest Groups:
These groups paint candidates one way or another on a single issue, usually a hot button or controversial issue - whether it's corruption, national security, immigration, abortion, minimum wage, stem cell research, or whatever. It really doesn't matter what the complete picture of the candidates views and beliefs are. If you disagree or agree with a particular candidate on a single issue, then you must vote for or against this person. Do politicians and election campaigns think that we're uninformed? Do they think we would base our vote on one single issue? That's a pretty arrogant view. Unfortuanately, through the years, we have been lulled into voting in this manner. I don't know how to change the tide on that.

Apathy in the Electorate: I even talk with people at work either at the hospital or at our office. No one really cares. There are actually few people going to vote. I can't understand why. Voting in this democracy is a privilege that is taken for granted. What if the government started limiting the right to vote? What kind of uproar would happen?

This is a nation of immigrants, including my parents. I remember when my parents became naturalized citizens. It was one of the most memorable days of my life and in their lives. I was in high school and we learned together about our democracy and how our government works. They have voted in every single primary election and general election since then. That started over 10 years ago. I think about that when I think about skipping an election.

"The decisions are made by the people who show up." I've heard that saying again and again in one setting or another. And, it is so true. This is my public service announcement from all of us here at the Doctor Anonymous blog (basically me) -- VOTE!

Don't be part of the problem. Be part of the solution. Be proactive. I know it's easy to complain and be frustrated and think that your vote doesn't count. It's easy to think that your vote won't make a difference. I think of all those people around the world who are told what to do, how to think, and basically how to live. I don't ever want to live like that. Go to the polls on Tuesday, you'll be glad that you did. I'm Dr. A, and I approved this message....


Bird on a Wire said...

It's sad that those ads actually WORK. *sigh* Yes, it is discouraging, and yes, I mailed my absentee ballot with absolute contempt. But later on, at least I'll have the right to complain some more because I voted!

ladybug said...

amen, doc.

Dreaming again said...

I will also go vote.

I usually carry on a conversation around this time of year with my neurologist. I don't have an appointment with him this time though ... I am seriously wondering what his thoughts are of this election period (we talk politics at every visit ;) ...)

if more people voted ... campaigns might be more serious and less playing in the mud.

Steve & Barb said...

But, there ARE people who make voting decisions on a single issue (abortion, stem cells, free fishing licenses for people with mental illnesses).

I think Dr A. should run for office. Too late this time, though we could organize a write-in campaign.

Ian said...

I voted early. We've got a ridiculously long ballot this year and I knew I'd be busy in November.

Power to the People! :)


Dr. A said...

As they say in Chicago - Vote early and Vote often! *waving at Chi-town native The Curmudgeon*

NeoNurseChic said...

Yes I totally cannot stand the ads anymore!! I'll be very glad when election day is over!! I do plan on voting, but I just have to figure out the timing. I'm still registered to vote in the county where my parents live, but on Tuesday I have to be in the city from 10am through about 8pm at night! So maybe I should go out to my parents' house on Monday night and then vote in the morning and then go into the city. We'll see!

My own personal feeling is that the negative ads are a real turnoff. I know what negative things are being smeared about the candidates I will be choosing from, but frankly I really don't have a very good idea about what each candidate's strengths are! In the last week, a few of the candidates have moved away from mudslinging and are posting ads that talk about their issues and values. In all truth, I'm more likely to vote for those candidates than for the mudslinging ones! This may be true even if I knew the strengths of both candidates and may not have chosen the one who is currently stepping away from the mudslinging - but in all honesty, the mudslinging ads are really pushing me away. I saw an ad in the last week by someone I didn't think I was going to vote for based on all the negative ads about her, but then when I saw her talk about the issues she stands for and share some of her family values, I started to change my mind. Yet I haven't seen her opponent put up any positive ads about his own qualities! What does that leave the voter to believe? I don't know why the focus groups think the negative ads are better than the positive ads. I really disagree, personally. I want to know what the issues are that each candidate is behind. I don't always have time to go researching every single candidate to find out their true opinions, etc - so sometimes the ads are all I have to base a vote on. I'll admit that. Even though that doesn't always make me a very informed voter for each and every candidate, that's the reality of it! I would feel a lot better if I had seen ads by each candidate talking about their plans if they are elected. Instead, I just have a whole lot of bitter feelings about the election in general because I'm so tired of seeing the negative attacks.

How is it a good thing that all we see from these negative ads are the bad sides of each candidate? THAT is what forces us to choose between the lesser of two evils. This is because most of us only hear these negative ads and then are left to say, "Well - which one seems the least bad based on this? Which one's negative qualities seem not as bad as the other?" Instead, we should be voting FOR - not against. I know in the last presidential election, I voted against. However, it shouldn't be like that all the time - and I honestly think the political ads encourage voters to vote against rather than for. JMHO.

Neat to learn about your parents. I didn't know they were immigrants! Where did they immigrate from, if you don't mind my asking? If you don't want to share the country, then mind sharing the continent? Or if not, that's okay too since I know you like to keep some things private!

Nice political rant - I may have to post one of my own over the next couple of days!

Carrie :)

Anonymous said...

I have gotten more and more cynical as time has gone by. They are all idiots. I do my civic duty when I vote, but I have to take a huge dose of phenergan before I do. Then I spend the next 2-6 years second-guessing the decision I made. The problem is that when you vote for one of the negative campaigners, they think you were convinced by this type of campaign.

Let's just all write in Elmo on all of our ballots. He is nice and kind and would never say anything bad about another person (or thingy like Elmo, whatever he is).

It's me, T.J. said...

I vote every chance I get.

I also don't depend on the ads to get my information about the candidates.

I look at voting records and where the candidates stand on the issues.

Not what the mainstream media, or opposition, says that the candidates' stances are.


Wrkinprogress said...

Personally, I voted early, and am really looking forward to Tuesday. I may volunteer to poll-watch, even. It's time for a big change, people!!!

Anonymous said...

All ballots are mailed in in Oregon, and I'd made my decisions before the ballot arrived. It's long been sent back.

Not much history, American history especially, has been taught in the public schools for decades, so very few people are aware that 'negative ads' have been around since the very beginning of the nation. Only, they called them 'broadsheets' in those days. Nasty stuff, a lot of it, by some sober leaders. And much of the citizenry complained of it, just as we do today. [sigh] This republic has always been kind of messy. But, Lord, how wonderfully it works!

Anonymous said...

It is funny that I know people online at that they made themselves sick or nervous. Appearently, it is a real thing.