Posted by: Kevin | November 7, 2006

No Matter Who Wins Today, We’ve Got Issues

I’m obsessing today.  I can barely do my job because I keep scanning the net for election news.  What I’ve been seeing on the net, has been sobering.  Not only is there evidence of mounting failure in the voting process.  There is virulent hate, not just for politicians and their policies, but for fellow Americans.  I’m becoming depressed as well as obsessed.  Not a good combo.

The issues with electronic voting have been well documented in the run up to the election.  Now it seems that many of the dire predictions are coming true.  Voters in Indiana, Ohio and Florida are all experiencing issues in exercising their right to vote.  Our system depends on a certain level of trust to work.  People need to believe that the voting process is relatively clean and fair.  Otherwise, voter participation falls and the political stage is left to the crazies on either extreme. 

At the same time, vocal partisans on each side have abandoned civil discourse.  Tour some of the right wing blogs and you’ll find Americans who vote Democrat referred to as “Americans in name only”.  I’ve found much the same on some left wing blogs.  I know this isn’t a new phenomenon, but why not maintain the pretense of trying to change people’s minds?  Otherwise you’re just preaching to the converted.

On both sides, there is the belief that only widespread fraud would allow the other side to win.  This is because no one tries to talk to the other side any more.  When it comes to politics, no one gives a shit about learning; there is no broadening of horizons.  Because I’m naïve, it hurts me that so many people are content to close their mind to someone else’s point of view.

So go and vote today.  Even if you’re on the East Coast there is still plenty of time.  But even if your party wins, don’t expect things to change for the better.  Our political process is broken because so many people are willing participants in its destruction.  If you want to fix it start with yourself.  Go talk to someone who disagrees with you.  Start with the assumption that the person isn’t deranged or un-American, they’re just different.

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