Voting Feelings Versus Facts

According to one report only 42% of Americans voted Tuesday. Needless to say 57% of us are left with the results. I have read several dozen explanations of the vote results in the past hour or so. But my own theory is that scared Americans are voting their feelings and have been cut off from the basic facts that will do them harm with a freeze on assistance to those in need and other much needed reforms for American democracy.

We have been deluged with Tea Party/Republican lies on our TV screens which are the primary source of information for many, if not most Americans. If one is scared, one votes one’s feelings, even if they threaten the very interests that are at risk.

Obama should not blame himself for the economic mess that he inherited. He has, perhaps, saved us from a major Depression. But he cannot create American jobs when our corporations are shipping them to the cheapest producers in our global economy — China, etc. I wish that he had gotten us out of our costly wars to nowhere. Perhaps he still will, if he can. Iraq looks ready to exploded into civil war again. Troops will not halt the Taliban in Afghanistan. Iran is still smarting over our destruction of its Mossadeq attempts to democratize in the Eisenhower years.

There is no point in blaming Americans generally or Obama in particular for what has happened. Fear makes people do irrational things and the increased number of suicides by our troops is emblematic of where we are now. The world looks on in wonder as we shoot ourselves in the foot or other vulnerable body locations. Our younger people look to be heading in good directions, but can’t be reached with a cell phone communication system. Hope for the future lies with them and the facts are out there for them to discover. My heart does go out to our blue collar workers (with whom I worked summers as a student) who should be being put to work on repairing our dangerously deteriorating infrastructures. One major dam failure and Southern California will lose its water supply — 20 million people. And an earthquake will do it.

I do put my hopes in the younger generation. I see hope in my children and grand children who are doing effective public service now. There are many good people in this country. It is too bad that many of them did not vote.

I hope Obama will fight and not flee. The super rich should be paying back some of their ill-gotten gains. There used to be a 90% tax on the most wealthy and no hide outs behind accountant tricks and in Swiss banks.

It is time we we who care helped those hungry children and others in need.


Changing Minds, Or Changing Voters? [NPR source]

Individual voters may not change their partisan voting habits very often. But different groups of voters are likely to turn up at the polls on any given Election Day. And the mood of the people who show up to vote has proven very different from one election to the next.

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent [blind copies]

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