Freestyle Friday: Go My Favorite Political Team

I’m going to take a break from the seriousness of the last couple of posts and talk about something that I love to do; vote.

Trussville residents voted to increase property taxes by 7 mills.
Trussville residents voted to increase property taxes by 7 mills.

I guess we have mid-term elections coming up later this year, but we’re two years away from the next presidential election. Our city held a vote this week, though, and that’s what got me on this subject.

I love to vote. I always have. I can remember going to vote with my parents when they would step inside the actual voting booth, draw the curtain behind them, and then pull the lever for their candidate of choice. What an exercise of power!

Elections of late, however, more closely resemble sporting events than an exercise in civic duty and responsibility. Maybe it’s always been this way , but it seems elections today are “us against them”. Elections are Alabama-Auburn, Duke-North Carolina,  Yankees-Red Sox. It seems that we have our favorite team, Democrat or Republican, and we vote for our team regardless of who is playing for the team and regardless of whether we like or agree her ideas or beliefs.

That’s why CNN can color red the states of Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, and color blue the states of California, Massachusetts, Delaware and Rhode Island, two minutes after the polls close.

He got hammered for saying it, but I tend to agree with Mitt Romney that 47% of Americans have probably decided to vote for the Democratic candidate before that person is even known. I also believe that 47% of Americans have probably decided to vote for the Republican candidate before that person is even known. All of that campaign money to sway the votes of 3.1% of the voters.

The local vote this week was to raise property taxes in order to build two new elementary schools. The additional schools would relieve overcrowding at the one “mega”-elementary school currently in use and move our education philosophy to a neighborhood school model. The 7 mill increase was the only item on the ballot and it passed 59% to 41%, but not before people made really uneducated or ill-informed arguments both for and against the increase.

I’m out of time this week, and I really didn’t scratch the surface of the subject. That’s probably for the best. I bit my tongue – well, my fingers – for a month leading up to the vote, refusing to respond to some of the comments made on social media regarding the increase.

So, I leave you with this, I don’t care how you vote. I really don’t. As long as you’ve educated yourself on the issues that are important to you and found the candidate that most closely aligns with your beliefs, vote away! I just hate to see people taking such an awesome right and responsibility so flippantly, either out of bitterness or just an unwillingness to learn. It’s still your right, I just think you should treat it with more responsibility.

Have a great Friday!