The United States of Wimps

flagWe’re wimps! We, the people of the United States of America are a sorry lot in the way we exercise our citizenship. I am a wimp, too, but I am beginning to train to be a better citizen.

We vote based on superficial information that has been carefully engineered by a campaign machine. It doesn’t matter if the information is untrue, no one will investigate, not even, the media.

We are largely ignorant on the issues, if it requires more than a sound bite.

We are mostly ignorant of the candidates’ history and where they stand on issues, other than the way they are painted by their campaign and how they portrayed by their opponent.

Most of us would probably fail a citizenship test. We know little of how government functions and less about what the Constitution says.

Hence, we have a Congress composed of party loyalists, rather than true representatives of the people, and that has led to a legislative stalemate. We have elected officials who are more loyal to their party that to the people who elected them.

I have some “solutions” for our wimpiness.

Make voting harder. People are voting who have no business doing so. I know that “voters’ rights” is a more popular mantra and that anything that asks for responsibility out of voters, it quickly and incorrectly labeled voter suppression.

Voters should have to pass a simple citizenship test. It could be administered upon registration. Keep it short and simple, junior high level, just a few basic questions about how the various levels of government function.

Voters should have to know something about the candidates and issues, too. It is frustrating how little real information is available. Lots of propaganda; little information. A non-partisan commission needs to make factual information available. It could be whatever the various campaigns response is on various issues. Part of the “voter test” needs to be agreeing to read the info. 

Maintaining our representative republic and our freedom, require responsibility. The greater the degree of freedom we enjoy, the greater the degree of responsibility is required.

Obviously, my ideas go way beyond debating same day registration and voter ID cards. It seems to me the only people who would oppose these ideas would be those who favor an ignorant electorate for their own political purposes.

Feel free to jump into the discussion. 


About Glenn

Glenn Hager is a blogger, former newspaper columnist, and author of two books, An Irreligious Faith and Free Range Faith.
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  1. I find that the reason I am a wimp is that I don’t have time to keep up with everything. And like you said, there is so much media hype, I have a tendency to tune it all out.
    If only . . .
    We could keep records on anyone who will ever run for another public office. When they start at the local level, just build files. When they work their way up to state then federal levels, we will have amassed info by which we can make better judgments.

    But that is what all the record keepers are supposed to do! Each of us can’t do that! And searching for info on the internet is just like sifting through all the media garbage.

    Is there any hope? My only hope is in Jesus Christ! All else – not so much. Yes, I am more that a bit pessimistic when it comes to politics!

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