Just a Thought – Livid About the Election



By: Janice Lane Palko

Do you like politics?  I can’t say I “like” politics.  Who really who likes listening to pontificating politicians who seem to be more in love with hearing their own voices and retaining power than serving their constituents?  Who likes watching adults behave like children instead of statesmen?  Who likes men and women who justify their bad behavior with childish excuses like:  “The other side does it too.  “Or everybody else was doing it.  It’s not my fault—they did it first.”   I’ve never accepted those rationalizations from my kids, and I don’t accept them from those running for office either.  No, I don’t like the “game of politics,” but over the past few years, I’ve become somewhat of a political junkie, and for a good reason.


I wasn’t always this deeply interested in what was going on with my country and the world—although I wasn’t as clueless as the people they interview on the street who when asked, “Who is Joe Biden?” reply something like “One of the dudes on The Jersey Shore.” Since I was a child, I’ve always known who was the President, Vice President, etc. and have been aware of most of the policy issues facing the country.  But until a few years ago, I was really just being spoon-fed what the media was telling me and accepted it.


Now, I’m not going to tell you my political persuasion because that is not the point of this piece, and I hate when others try to impose their opinions on me unwarranted.  However, I will say that I have certain rock-solid principles that I live my life by, and I try to affiliate myself with the groups, people, policies and candidates who most closely match my core beliefs.


OK, so I care about politics, but why should you?  I have always hated those civic-minded people who harangue others for not paying more attention to what is going on in their country and not voting because I don’t think “guilting” people to action works.  But I am going to tell you the reason why I’ve become more interested in and more of an active participant with regards to the fate of my country, and it may spur you to be as well.


Have you ever heard the term “Low Information Voter” or LIV?  I first heard it on one of the political talk shows a few weeks ago when they were discussing the battle for the small percentage of people who have not yet decided who they are going to vote for in November.  The term is a polite way of saying “moron voter,” people who don’t pay attention.  I can’t remember which side was talking about the LIV, but when asked about the effect that patently false ads have on the election, the pundit said something to the affect that they are aimed at the LIV—in other words dopes, people who don’t know any better, people who don’t question false information.  


Do you like to be taken advantage of by car dealers?  How about at the grocery store?  Does it annoy you when they scan something and the price is higher than it was marked on the store’s shelf?  Do you like it when you order something at the drive-thru and you get it home and find that your order is wrong?   How about when you hire someone to do a repair at your home and you get shoddy results?  I know I don’t like that, and I bet you don’t either.  That is why I became interested in politics.  I don’t like being take for a fool whether by a sales clerk, repairman or by a politician.  I don’t care what side of the political spectrum you are on, don’t let those we elect to government pull the wool over your eyes—don’t be a LIV.


Today, it’s easier than ever to be informed—there is TV, radio, newspapers, magazines and the Internet.  Familiarize yourself with both sides of the issues.  I can name more political figures from both sides of the aisle these days than I can Hollywood stars. Consider the sources of your information—where the money comes from, what they believe in, their history—what they have said and more importantly have done in their lives.  All I ever want when I look into a matter is the truth, even if it hurts and makes me question all that I’ve assumed that was true in the past.


Here is one truth that I’ve discovered in my quest:  This country is an amazing place.  In less than 250 years, the United States has gone from being a rebellious backwoods colony to the greatest nation on earth.  Why?  Was it the politicians who made us great?  We’ve had our share of remarkable leaders, but other countries have had exception leaders too.  The reason is, in their infinite wisdom, the Founding Fathers put the power and the fate of this land, not in the hands of politicians, but in our hands—you, me, We the People.   Don’t be fooled.  Know what you believe in.  Educate yourself.  Search for the truth.  Exercise your power and together, We the People—the ones who have always done the heavy lifting‑-will face any challenges and lead this country to a brighter future.