New Political Stategerty: Keep The Voter Guessing

Politicians are sneaky manipulative smart. They’ve figured out how to get people to vote for them: cloak themselves in mystery. Who doesn’t love a good mystery, right? If I’m guessing what you’re up to, at least I’m thinking about you. If name recognition from seductively cryptic campaign messages doesn’t get a candidate the vote, pure curiosity about solving the “who-is-it?” mystery might get a shadowy candidate into office.

I can’t help but notice the crop of multi-colored campaign signs that pop up on every green space in the area, alerting me that I need to brace myself for the 2nd Tuesday in November. The planting season for these signs begins mid-summer, so I have plenty of time to ignore trip over watch Scrappy pee on study these signs. Notoriously missing from every sign is party affiliation. Not even the color hints if the candidate is a “red person” or a “blue person.” Every food group color is represented. I have to guess from the wording which candidate best represents my views.

But that’s not easy. Take this sign:

I know this person is running for County Legislator, but what party is the Yellow party? And what does “Bold Leadership” mean? On first glance, this seems like a great quality in someone to decide the fate of our county and its squirrel problems. But I bet Moammar Gadhafi and Josef Stalin thought they were pretty bold leaders.

A nice, but hurried gentlemen gave me this “flyer” as he was working for the above’s opponent.

Bold Leader's opponent's "platform"

Is it me, or have “sound bytes” skulked into “word bytes.” Does this candidate want people to “age in place” or go somewhere else to deteriorate? Does “going green” mean we should all paint our homes green? How is clean air and alcohol abuse linked? I suppose if you talk to enough drunks up close, you can argue that they’re related. Collective bargaining: yea or nay, undisclosed party affiliation candidate? Airport? Yes, we have one. Is it too large? Should there be more than zero vending machines available to our five frequent fliers? I may have to vote for you just to solve the riddles handed to me at my door by that sketchy old guy working for you but was in a such big hurry.

I don't have time to answer your questions. I have questions of my own, like where's the nearest public restroom? These Depends Undergarments are about as helpful as that brochure.

Cryptic road signs, meaningless “fliers” and a few TV ads with tired but hopeful buzz words are what most voters will use on November 8 to choose their elected representatives, unless they avoid the voting booth in favor of The Regis Philbin Goodbye-alton (enough already), Judge Judy (a show to remind you how good your life is), Glee (well, if it makes you happy…), The Biggest Loser (on election night, now that’s ironic), or Keeping Up With the Kardashians (May the Farce Be With You).

If Democracy relies on an informed populace, then democracy is in more trouble than … than … it’s in big trouble. We have, at best, a segment of the populace curious enough to see who these bold, pithy people actually are and what they stand for should they get elected. Not that they’d actually do any of the things they hint at promising their voting public.

Still, I’m going to do my homework (I already have) and exercise my precious right to vote. People like me (women, not blondes) didn’t always have that right in America, and people like me (women) don’t have that right in at least 10 countries today. Our democratic system is far from perfect, so is the human body; are you willing to give up either one?

~ by Lorna's Voice on November 7, 2011.

12 Responses to “New Political Stategerty: Keep The Voter Guessing”

  1. Yes. The candidate who ran on BOLD leadership won the election. I just don’t know what the heck that means except that he’s Republican and sees all complex issues in terms of simple solutions. That scares me.

  2. Sometimes I think there should be some sort of minimum test of intelligence to vote. I know, I know, that smacks of elitism. But as you said, there are too many people who vote based on the candidates face, name or catchy slogans with no knowledge or regard for issues.

    Frustrating. Sigh.

  3. I was appalled when that flier was handed to me. Sheesh!

  4. I’ve voted in every election I was legally allowed to since I turned 18, and while I haven’t always loved my options, I’ve voted just the same.

    I’m not for eye-popping signs or graphics. I just wish people could sit down and talk through the issues, doing so with what is best for the country always as the common ground. Too many politicians are in it for the money or the fame rather than to serve. That’s when the system broke down.

    Oh, and that “party platform” bullet list you were given is terrible. It isn’t focused and totally lacks coherent arguments. Pick three things to run on and do them well rather than running on fifteen and doing them all poorly (or not at all)!!

  5. Thanks Al. I just notice this stuff and can’t help but express myself… 😉

  6. I never fail to get goose bumps standing in line to vote. It’s just unbelievable that people abdicate that responsibility. Just imagine how our history might have changed if every eligible voter had voted every year. Gives one pause.

    Good political blog. You’re right on with the analysis. We get the gloss, not the real person. There have been a few exceptions of candidates that “tell it like it is” and they are summarily dismissed as kooks. We don’t want to hear it like it is, we want to hear it like we would like it to be. That just isn’t always possible.

  7. Well, I have to do something in the 1.25 hours a day that I’m not blogging… 😉

  8. I always enjoy the most local of all the elections, as it is here where the real choices can be made that are likely to have to most direct impact on what occurs. Funny though, how few people actually do pay attention to these elections and focus instead of only the National ones. I am glad to hear you will be exercising your rights and doing so in an informed manner. Wish more folks would pay attention to more than an election sign that contains a name, making it familiar to someone sitting in a voting booth with no other tangible information to go on. A shocking number of people simply vote for someone because they recognize the name of one candidate and not the other name.

  9. Too bad they won’t let someone go in the booth with me to make sure I don’t double vote, or something… 😉

  10. Yes. My mom, who became a naturalized citizen always spoke of the precious right to vote in America.

  11. You go and vote Lorna, it is your right and you should use it, even if you are blonde 😆

  12. Thought-provoking. I used to claim that I would vote as soon as they gave me someone to vote for instead of just someone to vote against. But then I got to thinking about that right that women didn’t always have . . .

Silence can be just what the doctor ordered. You know I'm a doctor, right?

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