The Problem with the American Voting System

As election day draws near, we are being annihilated with tons of TV commercials and recorded phone calls.  I’ve heard Haley Barbour’s voice more times today than in the days and weeks following Hurricane Katrina.  I lost count at 11 calls from “Political Message” today.  The last one came in a few minutes ago from “RNC”.  As frustrating as those recorded phone calls are, the worst part is the low blows these candidates are delivering to one another.  I’m not sure how it is around the rest of the country, but because of where I live, a few of the local stations – one in Mobile and one in

Rick Scott and Alex Sink Debate (photo courtesy of Scott McIntyre)

Pensacola (which is crazy in itself considering I live in Mississippi and am closer to a coastal television station, but DirecTV doesn’t offer it) are running the Florida gubernatorial candidates’ ads – complete with childish accusations and brutality in their words.  Accusations, snide comments and tasteless efforts – all to gain another vote on Tuesday.

Here’s the problem, though.  Most of us are adamant when it comes to our right to vote.  It’s an important part of what this country is built on.  And if you don’t vote, and then you tell it, there’s a good chance you’ll hear a lecture about the liberties and freedoms we enjoy and how it’s an insult to not vote.  I absolutely believe it’s important and none of us should take it for granted.  But what do you do when there are two candidates and both of them are as useless as a lamp without a bulb?  I think this is the problem many Americans have faced at least over the past several years.  It’s not realistic to believe anyone who chooses to run for any political office is squeaky clean and without fault.  Humans are imperfect, despite the efforts of so many who try to disprove that fact; no one gets out of this life with the adjective “perfect” under their name.

It’s the way the candidates behave and the levels they’ll sink to that is disheartening.  Are they so conceited that they know someone has to win, so “let’s just see how low we can sink and how far down we can bring the other candidate”?  And before anyone emails me with “Well, if you don’t like and if you think you can do better, then go for it”, save yourself the email.  It’s not that simple.  It doesn’t have to be either/or.  It’s not unreasonable to want candidates to play fair: justify their accomplishments, show definitive plans for improvement if and when they’re elected and at least keep some level of respect for their opponent.  Period.  Florida voters don’t have that courtesy right now.  They’re stuck with a couple of so-called adults who spend their air time not showing the voters why they’re the right candidate, but rather, why the other guy is the biggest mistake anyone could make.

Of course, I’m not in Florida, but you don’t have to be to see the low character traits of the next Florida governor.  Makes no difference who it is – they both have proven they play dirty.  And if you’re interested in seeing just how low each has truly sank, take a look at this write up from the St. Petersburg Times



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