Monday, July 28, 2014

More thoughts about - A New Day

Let's hear what Juan Williams if FOX News has to say.  This might be interesting.

"Republican Rutherford B. Hayes won the 1876 Presidential race by one electoral vote.  But he respected Americans who voted.   "To vote is like paying a debt, a duty never to be neglected, if its performance is possible."   Hayes was right - and we should encourage the "performance" of voting and holding elections on weekends.  It is one step that can enhance voter turnout and boost confidence that  the people remain in control of the government.  Legislation to move Election Day to weekends has already been introduced to Congress.  A group of "Why Tuesday" has been working for the past decade to highlight the benefits of weekend voting.

The group notes that the U.S. ranks last in voter turnout among Western democracies in the G-8.  The key difference is that five of those other countries have weekend voting.  Limiting voting to a single day during the weekend is a challenge for people who have to get to the polls before or after work.  On Election Day, they often have to juggle traffic jams, unexpected meetings, day care pick ups or drop offs, in addition to trying to vote.  The Number One reason people give for not casting a vote, is "too busy/couldn't get time off to vote".

In the past two Presidential elections the nation has seen record turnout.  But only about half of the eligible voters got to the polls.   Meanwhile, faith in the direction of the country and government has plummeted.  Giving the American people the best chance to become a part of the democratic process is key to reinvigorating trust in our elected leaders and the idea of self-government that is the basis of our liberty and prosperity.

With the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act coming next year, weekend voting is an idea of whose time is near."

Please, I feel like vomiting.  Read Mr. Williams own words - "...the past two Presidential elections the nation has seen a record turnout."  Now, what caused that?  It surely was not an Act of Congress nor could it become one, given the numerous polls that have revealed the public's interest in Presidential elections.  The essential fact regarding Mr. Williams' conclusion appears to be because the preceding President had left office with a budget surplus, whereas his successor would leave office with a historic deficit.  And something could be said for the fact that four of the five preceding Presidents - prior to Clinton, were very unpopular Presidents.  It could be said that Presidential elections have become more of a popularity contest than an effort to elect a leader.

I must add, based on the 2008/2012 election results, the electorate appears to favor reason over rhetoric, regardless of the date of the election, the opinions of our political commentators notwithstanding.

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