1. With the 2008 Presidential election around a week away it is starting to come down to crunch time for the candidates and the United States. This is being built up to be one of the biggest Presidential elections of all time. I really do not know why this one is any bigger than any of the past elections at all. Is it because of the economy? Is it because of the war in Iraq? Or is it that there is a person running for office who looks a little bit different than the preceding Presidents?
2. My friend Dave and I were at a bar this past weekend with some of our friends and their wives watching the Michigan/Michigan State Football game. The topic of “who are you voting for came about” while Michigan State was starting to beat up on Michigan. He replied with “I don’t vote.” His point was that he is knowledgeable about politics but not the issues at hand. Our friends wife was confused because Dave is a well read guy who can carry on a conversation about anything. He brings out a great question. “If you’re voting, and you’re surprised to learn that people you trust as knowledgeable about politics aren’t voting, perhaps it’s you that needs to reconsider.”
3. This got me thinking. I have spent the time this year to learn about the candidates and was able to form my own opinion about who I think will do a better job as President. The majority of people do not take the time to do research on their own. Most people gather their information from the ads they see on TV or from jokes that Jay Leno or Dave Letterman make. With the internet so readily available why do less people go out to gather the correct info?
4. Then I had the greatest idea of all time. “We the people” should set up a “Voter Education Course.” If voting is such a big deal and we need to do things like Rock The Vote and Get Out The Vote then why not “Educate the Voter.” There are a million reasons to vote but shouldn’t there just be a couple major ones?
5. In my eyes voting should be more of a privilege not a right. Kind of like a drivers license. I remember hearing a story a couple years ago about a Arab woman getting denied a drivers license by the Secretary of State after failing the written test. She bitched up a storm to the employees saying how she “deserved” a license. The cops had to be called to remove her from the building. She obviously did not take the time to read about proper lane changes or what a blinking red light means. So why would she think she “deserves” a license. That’s like me saying NASA deserves to let me fly the space shuttle with no training just because I want to fly it without taking the 5 years or so it normally takes to learn how to fly it.
6. So if the election is such a big deal then why are we not requiring any voter education. Sure, your not required to vote but there are a lot of people who do vote who should not vote. They vote based on anything but the issues. It always comes down to a popularity vote.
7. I am envisioning this “Voter Education Course” to actually be able to solve all of the United States problems. Figuring out the logistics of it all is another question but some kind of online forum or town hall meeting. The only people who want to vote are going to show up. This would eliminate those who get pressured into voting the day of the election or get dragged into it by their co-workers, etc. I don’t want those people showing up to begin with. More than likely they are just going to go in there and vote a straight ticket or whoever’s ad they remember seeing last on TV. If you do not show up for the course than you cannot vote.
8. What I am liking about this is it brings all of the power back to the people and away from the government. These people are not getting paid to be there, not being wowed by special interest groups, or lobbyists. The major issues will get discussed and probably some forward thinking will come out of it.
9. Here is an idea. What about a simple multiple choice test? First question: Do you want your income taxes: A. Raised (Barack Obama) B. Stay The Same (John McCain) C. Eliminated (Ron Paul). Of course no one is going to pick A or B. So its settled. Barack Obama or John McCain would not be voted in because nobody likes their policies. It’s that simple. This is what baffles me. I have probably been in over a dozen conversations with close friends of mine about this election. When asked who I was voting for I told them Ron Paul. Most have never heard of him. When asked about what he stands for I told him the first thing he was going to do was eliminate the IRS because all the IRS does is legally steal from the U.S citizens. Do you think I got a rebuttal from that answer? No. I won that debate every time. I mean what American tax payer can say they enjoy paying taxes. None. This is just one example but I think you see where I’m going.
10. One thing I like about the “Voter Education Course” is that it not only holds the candidate accountable it holds the voter accountable. No more just showing up to a voting booth and picking whoever and then trying to defend yourself over the next 4-8 years that you did not know said candidate was going to run the country into the ground. With the “Voter Education Course” you would know exactly what they planned to do. If the candidate runs the country even farther into oblivion you have nobody to blame but yourself because you voted for him.