Friday, June 10, 2016

On Local Politics: Create and Engage Informed Voters

My comments about the average voter are very uninformed.

Many voters may be uninformed, but the amount of time and energy needed to be an engaged, energetic voter is a lot greater than most people realize.

Finding people who are motivated enough to inform me to vote properly are also very hard to find.

One wonderful lady, who possessed the time and resources to drive from Southeastern Los Angeles, admitted to me how helpless she felt about voting.

She was not a stupid person. She was an upright individual who wanted to make the best effort she could.

Voting is a high calling, a complicated process. The back-and-forth from different candidate, and the growing number of special interests, can frustrate people in so many ways.

Then couple the time and energy taken to vote, with the relatively slight impact of one vote and one vote, and you can see what many people just give up.

Let's add one more layer to the civic frustration. Let's say the candidates and causes which you have voted for win ... and the candidates-turned-elected officials fail to follow through on their promises!

Once again, no wonder so many people don't get involved with local government. No wonder most people throw up their hands and quit.

If activists, politically concerned conservatives want to make a difference, we need to start respecting where individual voters are coming from.

Most of them are not wonks, or hard-core experts on political matters.

Many of them, like you and me, have gone through the same government and civics classes. We were taught that men and women have a voice and influence because of the one ballot which each of us casts. We can go to the school board, the city council, and shout about what we do not like in our cities. But as long as elected officials believe that someone greater is paying their bills and protecting their backs, they do not have to care what you and I think.

Remember Machiavelli: "Seek to be loved and feared. If have to choose one, be feared."

Yes, a cynical view of human nature, but we have to accept that is what we are dealing with right now.

Well-informed political science and training demonstrates that political advocacy and effectiveness requires different kinds of actions.

Yes, voting is key. But conservatives can influence and wield power even if they lose at the ballot box on election day. Leftists have understood the need to take control of the culture. It's not enough just to win elections.

It's a part. Going to city council meetings, writing petitions, putting pressure on elected officials to respond to the needs of the community--these and other efforts are keenly effective.

Illiberal, regressive interests have been following these patterns, applying these tactics for a long time. The biggest difference between the left and the right ... is the right's ideas--free markets, free enterprise, free people--they work! There is no constructive alternative, because limited government, pro-growth, fact-based policies win when fully implemented.

In the mean time, we need to adopt the mindset of the many voters who have given up on the process, and who recognize a major lapse between what they believe and know to be true, versus the political actors in their communities who do not listen to them.

What was it like for me when I was an ignorant voter, in that I had a school board ballot in front of me. I had no idea how to get involved in politics. Where was I supposed to go to get information? I am not a tech savvy person the way that other people are. To this day, there is still so much that I have to learn about computers. social media, and the rest.

Instead of being shocked or surprised at he dearth of knowledge among the average voter, let's meet them where they are. What are the issues that they care about? What struggles are they facing? How do they make decisions about casting a ballot?

Let's make the process easier for them to discern what is right, and also emphasis a key incentive for them to vote, to voice, and to vie for a better country.

No comments:

Post a Comment