The election is over and I couldn’t be more relieved, but unfortunately this is not the end. I used to be a political junkie. So much so that I even ran for local office. The atmosphere surrounding our recent election cycles has soured me on the whole process. Every type of media has destroyed the political process so much that nobody even knows what the issues are. We only have ourselves to blame and we need to correct ourselves to bring pride and accountability back to our democracy. Recently, two former Mayors of the City of Worcester had made comments that struck this same cord, and we need more people to speak out like this.
Former Mayor Raymond Mariano asked in a Worcester Sun column titled “Losing friends over the election”
“How can we expect our elected officials to work together if we demonize those we disagree with? If we have disdain, or worse, for those whose opinions are different, what chance do we have that our government’s leaders will work cooperatively to solve our nation’s challenges?”
My sentiments exactly. Social media has become unbearable, mainstream media has become unwatchable and news journalism has become un-readable. Unfortunately we have bought it, hook line and sinker. The reason for all this venom and mis-information goes back to one of the architects of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) Jonathan Gruber when he insulted the intelligence of the American voter by saying it was “….the stupidity of the American voter…” which helped passed the President’s signature piece of legislation.
There you have it people, we have become so indoctrinated with our respective sides, that something like that does not bother us. It bothers me to no end and I am doing something about. I have taken a different approach this time around. Nobody knows how I am voting this year, with the exception of President (I’m leaving the ballot blank). I don’t engage in political debates, I will have discussions and if someone disagrees with me it is up to them to give me a reason to change it. Not to tell me I am wrong or that I am going to destroy America, or that I am deplorable.
As former Mayor Jordan Levy recently said on his radio show “Nobody has the right to tell me how to vote”. If the candidate or the ballot measure has merit on its own then convincing me should be easy. If not, plan to answer questions.
We have nobody to blame but ourselves for the volatility surrounding the election. We have succumbed to quick snippets and headlines to determine the story, rather than reading the actual facts. We have put our faith in an industry that has trampled their very own credo of “journalistic integrity”.
The term “fact check” no longer resides with the person reporting, but with someone who feels like it when the mood strikes them. That’s why websites like factcheck.org and snopes.com are very popular sites because nobody knows the truth anymore.
I’m sure most of you reading this voted the way your truly believe and I respect that. But next time, I just ask, don’t blindly go. You may still end up there but you will not regret it. It is time we change our behavior around elections, because if we don’t, this is just the beginning.
Coming Right At You