Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Drawing Clarity From Confusion: Who Should We Cheer For?

It's exceedingly obvious to nearly anyone, anywhere - even outside the United States - that the American public is angry, frustrated, and worried about the future as the November election looms. However, if you're like us, and you pay attention to the details and statistics, you'll see that the American public IS angry - but they don't know WHO to be angry at and who to cheer for.

We pointed out yesterday in our "Notable News" links that, in the latest CNN/Opinion Research Poll, a majority of Americans believe that congressional Republicans are more responsible for America's economic problems than Democrats are. Yet, as Greg Sargent noted, voters say in that same poll that they currently believe Congressional Republicans are also more likely to improve economic conditions in America. This makes ZERO logical sense. Without context, informed & educated voters aren't likely to trust the same group of people they blame for the recession we're still struggling to get out of, to make that situation better. Voters operating from misplaced anger might act in this mystified way, however.

This isn't the only news topic where the normal expectations of Americans are being confused by reality.

Normally, Republican leaders can be counted on to be stalwart defenders of business interests and capital punishment. Yet Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger - one of the best known active Republican governors - recently granted a temporary stay of execution to a California Death Row inmate. More shockingly, in a speech he gave Tuesday, Schwarzenegger blasted Texas oil companies and the Koch brothers - two of the Republican Party's most wealthy billionaire backers - for spending millions of dollars to attempt to buy off California elections, specifically the attempt to repeal California's landmark climate and energy law.

Don't even get Americans started on religion; those who think they're the most devout actually seem to know the LEAST about religion, according to the latest Pew research survey.

Some Americans might think we know who to boo - like Sarah Palin when she appeared on "Dancing With The Stars" on Monday. Those Americans would be wrong. We may find her internet missives inane, or her politics offensive, but if we're going to be civil with each other, we shouldn't be booing a Mom - even Sarah Palin - who is just showing up to cheer on her daughter in a dance competition.

None of this seems to answer the question: for whom should we cheer?

We DO have a solution: In most situations, cheering should be reserved for one's favorite sports team, or favorite singer at a concert.

Responsible politics - and being a responsible citizen - is about caring enough for your country, your region, your state, and your city to research the facts and understand the details before heading to the voting booth. As the President and Vice President have echoed over the last few days, it's time for Americans of all kinds to stop their whining, and get back in the game.

Know the facts on the issues you'll be voting on in less than five weeks - and once you're educated on them, go vote.

At that point, it will become abundantly clear who to cheer for: The informed and intelligent American voter.

Hopefully, that's the only kind of voter who shows up.

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