This election season was the first where I actually volunteered to support a candidate I liked. Ken Moore approached Graham and me while we were enjoying some locally prepared food for lunch at our Farmers’ Market a few months ago. Told us his name and suggested we vote for him. I challenged him to tell me something about his concepts and conversation started that encouraged me we might be able to have a person in the state legislature who had ideas similar to mine.
At that point I was doing the farm work and told them no, I was not walking around, knocking on doors. I wanted a sit-down job, so was assigned to the phone bank. With the sales training I received in past jobs, I can do that without getting perturbed…or so I thought.
The things people said are an indication of how they think….or don’t think in many cases. We NEVER asked for money. What we asked for was the person’s opinion what the most pressing problem was facing Oregon. What would they want Ken to know so he could be their representative fully. Simple enough, right? Here are some answers:
“I don’t know. I never thought about that.” What? You don’t have a gut reaction to ANYTHING?
“Why are you bothering me!?” CLICK Hmmm, I was hoping you were an adult who recognized your role in this mess we’re in. You don’t get active, you are part of the problem.
“I don’t get involved in politics.” Excuse me? This is your responsibility as a citizen, to learn and be involved in the running of your city/county/state/nation. Your abdication of that responsibility means other people make decisions. You may think by ignoring it all you won’t be affected, but guess again.
“All the dead babies” Yes, abortion is a serious issue, but the MOST important one facing the state? I understand we all have our passions, but there is more to life than any one issue.
“I’m tired of all the political ads on TV.” Well, that’s not exactly an issue a state legislature can address but YOU can turn off your TV.
“All politicians are the same. They promise stuff before election day and then do their own thing.” It seemed that way to me too before I started making an effort to read and learn. It does take more effort than listening to ads on TV. It means going to meet and greets and actually asking questions and getting answers. Sitting at home and depending on material in the mail box or ads is not really full information. And then, when they get voted in, sending them emails or letters or phone calls to let them know your position.
“What party is he? I only vote the xxx Party line.” That is the easy way. It means you can feel you are doing your civic duty but is your brain attached? Do you know anything about each person on that ticket? Do you honestly think each person running has the same exact concepts as you do?
So, as we now know, only about 30% of the registered voters actually bothered to vote. And yet, the bitching and moaning will increase I bet. I will be tempted to ask each complainant if they voted and if so, how they made their decision. And how they are talking to their representative now.
If you can be part of the solution, we can begin to talk to each other and heal this nation. If you hold your beliefs firmly and refuse to discuss and learn anything about any other viewpoints, we will continue to make these same stupid decisions.