I’m worried about the sub-prime problem. Sure, the sub-prime mortgage problem is big, but I’m talking about the sub-prime voting problem.
In the mortgage crisis, we have a lot of home buyers who were sold adjustable mortgages with a promise that this was the best choice. The home buyers trusted the knowledgeable and likable professionals and didn’t bother reading and researching what they were getting into.
In the voting crisis, we have a lot of voters who are being sold candidates with a promise that this was the best choice. The voters trust the knowledgeable and likable professionals and don’t bother reading and researching what they are getting into.
Part of the problem, I believe, is that many people do not realize how precious and valuable their votes are. They don’t see their votes as being powerful. And they are not aware of the consequences of using that power unwisely.
A few examples after the jump.A Democratic friend of mine in Tennessee voted for Bush. Twice. He didn’t vote for Kerry because “He’s a rich jerk”. He won’t vote for Obama because “He’s a Muslim”. These facile characterizations are all he needs to demonize a candidate.
I know other people who have voted – or will be voting – for Mike Huckabee because “he seems like a nice guy” and “he seems like an honest guy”.
My Republican parents said they were going to vote in the Illinois primary as Democrats so they could vote for Obama – not because they want Obama in office, but to make sure Hillary Clinton isn’t elected. They can’t express why, but they just don’t like her. Incidentally, my Mom still likes George W. Bush: “he’s a nice guy”.
The problem is far worse for other races. In 1986, two followers of Lyndon LaRouche won the Democratic primary in Illinois. My boss tells me he voted for them because their names – Janice Hart and Mark J. Fairchild – looked nice.
We are not having a junior high school student council election. We are choosing the people who will run our country, states, counties, townships, and cities. We are hiring the CEO and board of directors for our government. We deserve to hire the best candidates for the positions.
Don’t be a sub-prime voter. Don’t choose a sub-prime candidate.