Given the fact that we are free to complain as much as we want about our politicians, it's just sad how little we know about what they do. Political success these days, with help from the Supreme Court, is determined by public relations, which is brought to us by... money, lots of money.
And yet, if we wanted to learn about our candidates, we have so much information at our fingertips. Project Vote Smart has a wealth of information about candidates, including voting record and ratings by organizations.
And yet, if not for a plethora of TV ads, most of us would have no idea there is an election coming up. And those of us that do know, and plan on voting, may not have a clue who the candidates are, or their stand on the issues.
Man oh man, this is not the time to vote with your eyes closed. Nor is it the time to skip voting. We have had too many years of the rich getting richer and the poor losing voting rights, health care, and wages to stay silent.
Alexandra Pelosi, daughter of Nancy, is an amazing documentary film maker, who wanders around shopping centers and parking lots across America asking people questions about politics. In an interview with Bill Maher on Real Time on September 26, she said, "...people do not know there is an election." Those who said they were going to vote rarely knew the candidates. If they said they were going to vote "for the republican," and Pelosi asked about specific issues, she comments that "...if you go through the laundry list (of issues), they don't know what a republican is."
So here's the thing. We need to tell people there is an election on November 4. Our politicians need to get personal, and talk not just about the issues, but about how the issues are going to affect them.
They need to know that by South Carolina not taking federal Medicaid dollars, not only are our tax dollars going back to Washington, but people here are getting sick and costing us all whether it is in time lost from work or children going to school with contagious illnesses. When state and federal government try to make laws regulating a woman's reproductive health, this is government interference in family decisions. When our lawmakers refuse to allow our college graduates to refinance their student loans, they are burdening our young adults as they are trying to begin their adult lives. And all of the above taxes our economy and stresses our families. And wastes taxpayer dollars.
We need to get specific. Because when people talk about the issues, and their personal stake in those issues, they are talking about Democratic values. They just don't know it yet. And when they realize what is personally at stake, they may just make the effort to get out and vote.