Why Being Informed Matters

September 6, 2016

By Rich Bodee

On Tuesday, Nov. 8, voters all across America will cast their votes for the next president of the United States, wrapping up one of the most unusual election seasons in recent memory.

If you have paid even the slightest amount of attention to the presidential race, you will have heard the use of two words that exemplify the campaigns of the GOP nominee, Donald Trump, and Democratic nominee, Hilary Clinton. Those words are “vicious” and “entertaining”.

How can those two words be cohesively used to describe the same election and why is it that we find foul language, incompetence and wild ideas so entertaining? We know this is true due to the increase in ratings throughout the political and media spheres, especially in the Primary.

One theory suggests that voters aren’t informed. The lack of background knowledge on candidates and their platforms causes voters to latch onto the words that are spoken without understanding their true meaning.

This mentality suggests something scary: our understanding of this election has become convoluted in the political gibberish and rhetoric used by some of our nation’s political buffoons.

Need an example? Just look at the rhetoric that Joe Walsh, former congressman and current political commentator, spews like a geyser. Walsh is the definition of the word “contradicting” and it seems that his outlandish remarks are solely for the sake of increasing viewership. A quick scroll on his Twitter page reveals countless examples of his ignorance; however, Walsh continues to have a substantial following of dedicated supporters.

I can’t help but wonder if his supporters are even aware of his current behaviors, remarks and political history or if they are simply misinformed and trapped in his endless cycle of nonsense?

This metaphor also applies to the current election for both political parties. Is it fair to say that politics has become a form of reality television? If so, what does this mean for the future of the geopolitical landscape?

You could make the argument that this presidential race jumped into the reality market not by its own accord, as it is clearly demeaning the political hierarchy. As far as the future of politics in America, the old adage “time will tell” is not a promising answer. Americans are like kids waiting for the bus to pick them up only to find that, when it arrives, it has a flat tire.

We cannot wait for the political landscape to influence us as voters when we are the driving force in the system. When November rolls around and you enter a polling booth and grab a ballet, ignore the political rhetoric that has been crammed down your throat and think about the future you would like to see; a future that you would be comfortable showing your kids.

bode rich@my.dom.edu