“Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.”
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
32nd President of the United States
Not since 1908 has the U.S. voter turnout risen above 65% according to information posted on Wikipedia. Really? Surely with all of our transportation improvements, and immediate political info access, the modern American can match the efforts it must have taken folks over 100 years ago to “get out the vote”. Perhaps time has allowed us to take the process for granted. After all, the biggest threats to our freedom have originated in foreign nations this last century. The stories we heard from our elders were of that period, not of the internal turmoil suffered in the 19th century. We have no connection to the time when voting was earned. It is a right many Americans carelessly squander.
So why aren’t more of us taking advantage of the privilege so many have fought for? According to an article on Bloomberg.com, a common thread among the explanations given is down to basics – location, location, location. We just can’t seem to get ourselves there for one reason or another. The most logical solution that would cover almost every circumstance is to vote by mail. A quick visit to the www.vote.org site and you can have the necessary form to register for an absentee ballot. No more musty school libraries or echoing fire halls need be endured. Just fill it out, mail it, and you will get your ballot. Then you can do your voting in the comfort of your own home before mailing it in. “Who wants to do that every year?” you ask. Well, probably no one, which is why you can check a box on the form to permanently vote-by-mail. No doubt Americans the 1800’s would have vastly appreciated the ease of this option.
This brings us to the conscientious American voter of today. They demand to know information about what they consider important, and want to hear what candidates have to say on those issues. This was proven when the first presidential debate of this election broke TV viewer records with an audience of over 84 million, according to the L.A. Times. Who wants to bet they worked on their body language a little in preparation? The safe money would be that they worked on it a lot. It is easy to get distracted by how someone looks, their facial expressions, and hand gestures. It is human nature to evaluate others on how we visually perceive them. Which is why political candidates work on body language a lot.
Try listening to the results. Without visual distraction, the brain can truly focus on what the candidates are telling us. In the web article “Mindful Listening”, one of the key components is to “Listen without judgement or distractions to absorb what is being said”. By simplifying the experience with a radio, you may gain a whole different perspective.
Regardless of your views on this election, you can still vote and that is priceless.