Sunday, June 24, 2012

Voters' rights and responsibilities to know the candidates

The President of the United States is uniquely positioned to have tremendous influence over billions of people. He can send soldiers and nuclear weapons anywhere in the world. He can form a one-man super-filibuster which requires 2/3 of both houses of Congress to override. He (according to current practice, anyway) can order the execution of anyone outside the US. So how is it that both parties have gotten uncomfortably close to putting people (John Edwards and Sarah Palin) who appear to be psychologically disturbed a heartbeat away from the office?

Given the tremendous power entrusted to one individual, voters need to know, and be allowed to know, important details of the candidates' lives.  If Barack Obama wants to keep his finger on the button, it's bullshit that voters aren't allowed to know about his college years, which (presumably) were important to his formation as a person.  It's similarly unacceptable that Romney's religion is off-limits, or that the allegation that he forcibly cut the hair off of a classmate in high school was minimally discussed.  These facts about the men who seek to lead the free world are vitally important, as the peculiarities of their personalities change the course of history.

So it was with great dismay that I read a Gallup poll which shows that only 34% of voters can correctly identify the President as a Christian.  This fact is both frequently in the news and extremely important to Obama's job.  It matters if the guy with his finger on the button believes that his side is destined by God to emerge victorious, just like it matters if he is a Marxist or if he's a bully.


NWest said...

The word "Christian" is very charged. Many folks would say that Mitt Romney is not a Christian, even though Mormons identify themselves as Christians. Polls like that basically just show how ignorant the general populace is at large. Keeping the masses ignorant, after all, the goal of the current political class (both left and right).

NWest said...

Another poll which kind of ties to this was done by Scott Rasmussen recently. Only 22% of people think the current federal government has the consent of the people. Which is silly, since they all voted the idiots into office in the first place.