Thursday, June 27, 2019

The Fifth Estate of Government, YOU


The U.S. Declaration of Independence states that "when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government."



We were brought up believing that America was the best country in the world, and at one time it was. We had civility and cared about our country and education. But something happened, and things changed. Was it the civil rights movement? Vietnam? Corporate Personhood or Evangelical religious television? Government/political corruption? Something has changed, and for the worse.

Growing up, I didn't give much thought to politics or how the government works. I did enjoy the song "I'm Just a Bill" from School House Rock, but I think I missed the real meaning. The civics education we received wasn't enough. We must bring it back full force and make everyone realize YOU, YES YOU are a huge part of the government. Don't be shocked, but it is true. Why wasn't this point stressed more in school? Democracy fails if no one takes part in it, and many of us have not done our part for years.

Politics and government issues were something for super intelligent, rich, old, and not really a big deal for an average Joe like me. I figured they knew more than me or that they knew what they were doing and I pretty much left it at that and went about my life. I voted in a few presidential elections but never a mid-term. I just didn't have the motivation to care about politics, and now I realize how ignorant that was of me. All this time, I could have done more and made a difference. I wasn't provided the right tools or engaged in the right way to make me see how important it really is for all of us.

We can make a difference by learning, doing, and teaching the basic civics knowledge we were taught in school. Also, what you have learned as an adult. Practicing and using this knowledge is a big part of how our country works. We must show our kids how to vote and vote with logic. Logic and research are crucial. Did you know that there have been studies done to explain how and why people vote for specific candidates? Can you believe that height has had an influence in elections? According to psychologytoday.com, " the taller candidate has won the popular vote in 67% of all U.S. presidential elections. [1]

“Voting behavior is very much a habit,” said Henry Brady, dean of the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. “If you’ve had the behavior modeled in your home by your parents consistently voting, by political discussion, sometimes by participation, you start a habit formation and then when you become a little older you’ll feel it’s your duty and responsibility to register and vote.”[2] The dean is right. It is our American Civic Duty to vote and take part in our democracy, and yes, I mean duty. There are so many things happening right now, and with 20 democratic candidates to choose from it can be overwhelming.

Now is not the time for laziness or shirking our responsibilities. We must rise up and stand for what we believe in and vote with knowledge. There is time to research all the candidates, Republican, and Democratic parties, and you should do your research. Voting for someone that is tall, good looking, or has a smart mouth shouldn't be qualifiers for any position in government. We have to change how we do things. It really is that simple. The Metamora Herald has published several articles about the female candidates, so if you read those, some of your research is already done.




[1] https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/caveman-politics/201210/it-s-weird-candidate-height-matters-in-elections
[2] https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/07/well/family/what-really-makes-us-vote-it-may-be-our-parents.html

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