Friday, September 24, 2004

RNC: Vote or Else 

The RNC admits sending inflammatory mailings, warning that liberal Democrats will ban the Bible and force gay marriage if conservative citizens don't vote on Election Day.

The mailings, which were publicized last week, contained images of a Bible with the word BANNED across it, and a photo of a kneeling man placing a ring on another man's hand, with the word ALLOWED.

I really try to be realistic and pragmatic. I try to be neither a cynic nor a Pollyanna. But I have to admit to being incredibly disappointed when intelligent and educated people stoop to such tactics, especially when it comes to something so fundamental to this nation as the selection of our national leaders.

I understand that as much as I might wish it, many Americans don't take the time to educate themselves on the issues beyond what is spoonfed to them by the leaders of whatever group they identify with. As depressing as that is, I find it reprehensible that this attitude is basically encouraged by those same leaders. If the public as a whole were actually fully informed of all sides of even just the issues of interest to them, the politicians, lobbyists, special interest groups, etc. would find it more difficult to sway them with simplified and distorted one-liners about incredibly complex and nuanced issues. Let alone with flat-out lies.

Just in case anyone thinks I'm right-wing bashing: I apply this to information thrown into the arena by groups on all areas of the spectrum.

My wishful thinking: that Americans would take seriously their responsibility to understand current events and how our government is designed and functions, and would then be active in our society. Education can be as inexpensive as simply spending some time. And yes, time is precious, but so is America, every citizen in it, and our system of governance. It's worth the investment.

One of my long held beliefs is a statement printed on the bookcovers my parents (a working class couple; a non-union carpenter and secretary who both worked at least one full-time job each while raising six children) provided for my schoolbooks starting in elementary school:

Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity.

-Aristotle


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Posted by Beth Henderson at 2:42 PM