Voter Prep


A little light reading…


If I’ve learned one thing from reading up on my Official Voter Information packet, which all the upcoming propositions for the general election, it is that I respond more strongly to how an argument is being made than by what the argument is about. I find that I have an immediate and strong dislike for arguments made with an excess of capital letters or italics. It could be an argument that THE SKY IS BLUE! or, sugar is sweet! (every such argument always seems to imply an exclamation point hovering over the full stop of each sentence) and I would still find myself skeptical. After all, if it requires so much emphasis is it really that strong of a truth to begin with? 

It is likely that this is just a part of my contrarian nature- a reflexive disbelief in any belief espoused with too much enthusiasm. In some ways this makes me into a very middle-of-the-road voter, not because I lack strong personal ideals, but rather because I feel responsible for advocating for a solution that is likely to keep balance between rabid, frothing extremes on both sides. Having realized this, I find myself faced with a dilemma: do I choose to cast a vote based upon how I truly feel or on what I believe is good for everybody? And do I estimate that good-ness on what the proposal is supposed to result in (BETTER SCHOOLS! Cheaper medications! LESS PLASTIC POLLUTION!!!) Or on the present day cost ( billions in bonds, making temporary taxes permanent, etc.). And how do I make a decision on arguments where I don’t have a dog in the fight? Can I really make an informed choice about condoms in adult films or school improvements paid for by taxes on the wealthy?  

I suppose I can console myself with the knowledge that my vote is only a tiny vibration of the needle and is unlikely to go unbalanced by capital letters, italics, and exclamation points (real or implied). I suppose that the real beauty of being in the middle is that it’s difficult to be extremely in the middle. Even if the vote doesn’t go the way that I feel is right, I can consider myself informed on what the alternatives are and whether it is worth moving out of the middle and into the opposition. 

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~ by Gwydhar Gebien on October 13, 2016.

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