Sunday, September 3, 2017

People! Please! Get informed!

"But we are now yesterday. The young people are today. And those just being born are tomorrow. Be informed people - your future relies on it!" 

The Minnesota State Fair is winding down. I have just finished my third and final shift at the Jeff Johnson for Governor booth. Not my first rodeo. In the past, I have also done booth duty at the Minnesota Majority and theTaxpayer's League

Booth duty at the fair is always an experience. You get to meet a cross section of people. And when I say cross section, I mean every flavor possible. For the most part, people are very pleasant to talk with. Once in a while someone would come up to the booth wanting to mix it up a bit. But those times were rare. Usually Minnesota nice ruled the day, even if someone was not supporting Jeff. 

One of the main topics of conversation the booth workers would have was how so many people were totally uninformed of what was going on. For example, Jeff Johnson is not a newcomer to politics in Minnesota. Not a bit. He has been around the block. Three terms in the Minnesota House, in his third term as Hennepin County Commissioner, and a statewide candidate for Governor last time around. That being said, you will never guess what the most common questions asked was.

"Johnson, huh? Republican or Democrat?" The irony of this question is that it was not asked by immigrants who just arrived in this state - it was asked my people who had lived here for years. And here is the real kicker. Many times it was asked by someone who lives in Hennepin County. Like I said, Jeff is in his third term as a Hennepin County Commissioner.

The uniformed nature of some of the people went from the strange to the humorous. Those who know me and know Jeff, know that he and I do not remember each other - not a bit. Jeff is youthful, trim and a good looking chap. Me, let's just leave it at the fact that I don't look like Jeff! Anyhow, twice in only three, four hour shifts, someone asked me if I was Jeff Johnson! Both times happened when Jeff had not yet arrived at the booth. When Jeff arrived and I told him I must be his doppelganger, we both got a huge laugh out of it.

On his radio show, Rush often times talks about the low information voter. I knew he was right, but did not think the number of low information types could be that large. After all, this is the day of the 24 hour news cycle, internet, Google, twitter, Facebook and so forth. I am re-thinking my position. Rush might be right after all. 

My plea to all, is please, please, get informed! Many years ago there was a term called "Yellow Dog Democrat". That was a Democrat who would vote for anyone, including a yellow dog, if he or she had a "D" behind their name. Did not care about the issues, only the party. 

Today, we need to be better than that. We need to be a whole lot better. Especially the younger people. Why? This world is theirs now. Yes, my dope smoking, protesting, later day Hippie generation really screwed things up. But we are now yesterday. The young people are today. And those just being born are tomorrow. Be informed people - your future relies on it! 

1 comment:

  1. Roughly a third of American voters think that the Marxist slogan “From each according to his ability to each according to his need” appears in the Constitution.

    About as many are incapable of naming even one of the three branches of the United States government.

    Fewer than a quarter know who their senators are, and only half are aware that their state has two of them.

    I think every ballot should start with a multiple choice test. Out of 10 political words listed, pick the 3 branches of govt.
    Fail and your votes are voted.
    Pass and your votes are counted.

    For most people, including many smart people, it is also rational to be ignorant about politics. If your only reason to learn about it is to cast a better-informed vote in an election, that turns out not to be much of an incentive at all, because the chance that your vote will make a difference to the outcome is infinitesimally small (about 1 in 60 million in a presidential election, or 1 in 2 million for governor, for example). Most people don’t know these exact odds, but they do intuitively realize that there is little payoff to devoting lots of time to studying government policy.

    With the increasing size and complexity of our government, it is no wonder many people know more about the Kardashians than they do about Congress.

    With simple testing at the ballot box, we won't have a repeat of the 2016 Presidential Election.

    respectfully, the ever-present David Gjerdingen