Time Management and Politics
I interviewed over 100 women as to why they voted as they did. Some reasons given were so outrageous, inane, emotional, or illogical, that I could hardly believe them. For example, a college junior thought that I was dumber than dumb and said in response to my question, “Duh! I voted Democratic because Michelle told me to!”
My heart bled and my hand trembled with frustration as I wrote down the various reasons. Then I got to thinking. Why castigate when I could educate? I once had graduate college students who whined they were too busy working to get their assignments in on time. So, I taught them three easy steps that helped them manage their time better. They will work for anyone who is busy but wants to become an informed voter. Here they are for your consideration:
Step One: For the upcoming elections in 2011 (Springs Mayoral election) and 2012, (National elections) gather information. Cut out articles such as this one and save them in a file. Check all papers in town for a balanced view point.
Step Two: Take that file, a pen, and a highlighter with you to the one place at home or at work where you won’t be bothered – the bathroom. Do two jobs at one time. Each visit, take time to read at least one article. If you read three articles a day, within one week, you will have over 21 resources consumed. Total time spent per day: 30 minutes or less. Consider that the bathroom is the one place where not even kids will pester you for attention.
As you read, highlight important facts (which can be proven) and use a pen to make notations. For example, is the statement, Obama is spending 200 million a day to go to India, factual? No! There is no proven proof for this statement.
Judge all “informed opinion” carefully! This is opinion based on research or tests that have been proven to be “factual.” A doctor says, “You are pregnant.” His statement is opinion based on tests which are factual and have been proven to show the condition.
Many political pundits such as Glenn Beck give “informed opinions” based on lots of research. This is what separates them from liberal talking heads that rely mainly on emotion, not research, to give their opinions. Consider, “thrill up my leg” as the basis for supporting the election of a man with little experience to be President of the United States.
Finally, do your own homework. Get out that file and look at the highlighted information. Then go to a debate or two and compare what the candidate said in the past versus currently and with what you have in your file. Polls and time often make candidates change their statements!
Then, sit down and make three columns for your favored mayoral candidates (or President and Senate in 2012). Title the three columns, facts, for consideration, and negative. Facts go in the fact column, informed opinion in for consideration, and all claims such as “I am a proven business leader and have executive experience” in the negative column. Why? I too could claim I have business experience as I own two small businesses, but could I run this city? No! Be careful of broad generalized claims such as these.
Be especially thoughtful about politicians who claim that they have the “experience” to run our town. Many problems we face currently are probably due to them! Think Olympics and millions of dollars spent versus return on investment as a basis! When negatives outweigh the other columns, delete that candidate.
Remember to ignore attack ads. Instead, read, Going Dirty, The Art of Negative Campaigning, by David Mark – fabulous book! I believe that Ken Buck lost mainly due to attack ads. His lead over Bennett fell when the negativity started! He didn’t counter the misleading information presented by the Democrats. Many women cited the ads as to why they didn’t vote for him, confirming that the negativity worked: “I didn’t vote for Buck as he wanted to raise my taxes 23%!”
Use your brain and information gathered to make your selection. Then go vote. Give yourself a pat on the back for your efforts and celebrate with your favorite dinner. You are now an informed voter, good time manager, and a responsible citizen! The next day, get ready for 2012 by starting the process all over again. Happy informed voting!
If you have a reason you want to share as to why you voted the way you did, email the author at [email protected] Be sure to sign your name and city where you live.