Essays About

The Vegas of Voting Booths

Given the chicanery of politicians and the complexity of politics, how can one be an informed voter? Clear information about the candidates is inaccurate, while accurate information is unclear. The candidates lecture more of each other than themselves, which is like learning from cats about dogs. Experts disagree as fiercely as rally-goers. Examining the issues for oneself deepens rather than dispels confusion. Will tax breaks boost or bankrupt the economy? Will a calm or threatening voice quell rowdy nations? Minus doctorates in economics, health policy, international relations, sociology, education, and military history, most voting is mere guessing. We pick leaders without knowing what the leaders say they will do, or if they will do what they say, or if what they do (whatever they do) will work.

If voters reined their opinions within their knowledge, ballot boxes would be empty and bumper sticker makers would go bankrupt. Fortunately for the continued functioning of government, few people need facts to feel conviction.

The right to vote gives democratic societies a sense of autonomy over the future. But democracies differ from the monarchies they replaced only as drawing a card in black jack differs from being dealt one. We choose our fate but do not know which fate we are choosing.