Mindless Drivel
Read at your own detriment…

HEEEEYAW!

I love election season for this reason alone: political blunders and media frenzies. I wait every day hoping to see or read about the next “Dean Scream.” The 2008 presidential campaign has already brought us some gems and with an election so influenced by racial and gender frontiers we can only expect this election season to be one of the best yet! If only we could get a gay candidate we’d have THE most controversial election known to man. God I can’t wait.

Tangentically, I believe it is every American’s civic responsiblity, no duty to be politically informed. Honestly, I dont care if you vote. Voting (or not voting as the case may be) is a rational decision in which many citizens decide the costs outweigh the benefits and stay home on election day. I would just hope that people are informed, that they know whats at stake. Sometimes our current (perhaps flawed) primary political process puts before us the choice of two lackluster candidates and who really cares who wins (ie 2000, 2004).

But sometimes there is more at stake. Sometimes you have to vote so your voice is heard. Because much of the middle shrugged off the 2004 primaries, it allowed the candidates to pander to the poles and further alienate the vast majority in the middle. As long as politicians focus on mobilizing the extremes of their constituency, the middle becomes more and more marginalized.

The 2006 election showed promise however. The middle finally stood up (just barely enough) to make a statement: “The adinistration cannot do whatever it wants without the support of the country.” And that is a tiny sliver of hope. People realize that there is something at stake on election day.

I worry however that many cast blind votes based on party identification which worrys me. Albeit, that’s why we have a two party system- so those without enough time to learn the facts have a reliable way to pigeon-hole the cadidates into two clean cut differening parties. But sometimes this leads us astray of our true values. We lose ourselves in our party identification.

The primaries often go overlooked but is where elections are won and lost for parties and this is the first step in being heard. Learn the facts early. Acclimatize yourself with the candidates of both parties. What usually happens is the politician with the widest name recognition, a nice smile and a big wallet usually wins, leaving in their dust more worthy candidates with less cash to burn on television ads and cross-country tours of the mid-west.

Election 2008 will be one for the record books even if Clinton and Obama don’t make it out of the primaries. Tensions are peaking between Democrats and Republicans beneath idle promises of comprimise and bi-partisanship. Needless to say after this rant I am immensely excited. But I have digressed from my original point: in an effort to keep my cohorts informed I plan on posting relevant articles and bios on the candidates here. All, the candidates mind you. For those of you who know me, its no secret which way I usually vote but were it not for Maryland’s asinine requirement that you party identify to vote in primaries, I would have declared independent. As soon as we pigeon-hole ourselves ideologically, we unnecessarily eliminate our ability to think critically about the broad spectrum of possibilities in this world and that annoys me.

Anyhoo…I suppose that’s been long winded enough for now. Stay informed and stay tuned if you’re too lazy to pick up a paper or too intwined in news about Britney and K-Fed to switch over to CNN every once in a while. I understand that rational ignorance runs rampant amongst my peers but maybe, just maybe I can help at least a few people in their decision come 2008 (even if is stay at home on election day).

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