How dangerous is an uninformed voter? When asked about the power of voting in a democratic government, Abraham Lincoln replied, “A ballot is stronger than a bullet.” As Americans, we are all armed with bullets to fire in the upcoming presidential election, but it seems many voters don’t even know what they are shooting at.
Recently on the Howard Stern Show, a correspondent went out to Harlem to interview Obama supporters and ask which policies of his they agreed with. Many of them were recorded saying they thought Obama’s plan to stay in the Middle East for as long as it takes was spot on, and also that they supported his decision to select Sarah Palin as his running mate…What? While this hardly stands as a litmus test for the entire country, it has to make you wonder: Just how many people are voting without knowing much more than their candidate’s name?
The semi-famous interview of Matt Damon ripping on Sarah Palin has accumulated over 8 million views on youtube.com. Add that to the number of people who tuned in to the SNL episodes guest starring Sarah Palin and John McCain, 15 million and 12 million respectively, and you have an audience well over half the size of the 57 million viewers who tuned in to the last presidential debate! Is it possible that people are making decisions on who to vote for based on sketch comedy or celebrity endorsements?
The bottom line is this: If we, as a people, choose to elect our next president based on anything other than the issues that matter most to us, then we have done our nation a disservice and should not be surprised if things do not go the way we would like them to. People are turning out in record numbers this election season to cast their votes and fire their democratic bullets. I just hope we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot.
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