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Wednesday, April 28, 2010
How do you spell E-N-D-O-R-S-E
By Chris Miller
The right to vote. A right some take for granted. A right some choose not to exercise. A right some have given their life for. A right that some of our foreign brothers and sisters only dream about. When I stop to really think about this basic principal of democracy, I am awestruck by its power. If you don’t understand the power, ask Al Gore, a few hundred vote swing in November, 2000, and the first decade of this century would look vastly different than what will be written about in future history books.
If this right is so important, then why do so many choose to not educate themselves on the choices? Ah, but an even bigger question, why do some in position of perceived authority choose to educate us without first educating themselves.
The political endorsement. Many organizations, periodicals and individuals tell the masses that we need to vote for a particular candidate or referendum. Those doing the telling are usually in a position of authority such as a past or present elected official, an editorial review board, a labor union, an group of individuals held in high esteem. You would think that any of these ‘endorsers’ would take the process seriously. Well, think again.
It has come to my attention that in this primary season, there are several entities that have chosen to ‘endorse’ candidates, not on the basis of an interview or from answers on a written questionnaire, but because of how they might ‘feel’ about a candidate. They also endorse because of ‘identity politics’. i.e. I am a woman, therefore I will always endorse the female candidate. This occurs even if the male candidate has the same voting record and beliefs as the woman.
The endorsement process needs to be taken seriously. Calling a candidate a ‘Jackass’ or telling us to ‘not for for him’ when you haven’t completed due diligence is inexcusable. So if you are referring to an endorsement as a way to determine who to vote for, here are a few simple suggestions:
1.Look to see how the endorsement process was completed? Was it through an interview, questionnaire, or someone’s ‘feelings’ toward a candidate
2.Check to see who is doing the endorsing? If the endorsement comes from a periodical or a group, the names of the persons on the panel should be published. Don’t forget there are candidate friends who can ‘stack the deck’ on an endorsement vote.
3.Read everything. Flippant comments are not a sign of a serious process.
4.Do your own homework. The internet is a valuable tool that is quick and easy to use.
Remember, voting is one of the most valuable rights you have. Be educated. Be informed. Please take the process seriously.