Friday, October 26, 2012
citizenship in the nation
i really don't like the idea of voting "straight party," since i think that candidates should chosen on personal positions and not just whether they're "red" or "blue" or "green" or whatever libertarian is. (yellow? orange?) but i do think it's important to know for whom you are voting. (i figured i'd use proper grammar here for once.)
as soon as i got the ballot booth and cast my vote for the presidency of the united states, i realized that there were six pages of other people running for other offices this season, too. these ranged from u.s. senators and district representatives to railroad commissioners and, well, other kinds of railroad commissioners. at first i started just picking names and considered choosing candidates from parties other than the republicans and democrats, just to help the little guys get a leg up on the pile. but i thought back to one of the lessons from boy scouts that has stuck with me for twenty years.
one of the required merit badges for eagle scout is "citizenship in the nation," which helps us... learn about the nation. i honestly don't remember anything more specific than that except this one thing that stood out to me: when you are voting, be informed. if you just randomly cast your vote, you are, in essence, canceling out the vote of someone who took their time to decide which candidate best represented their views.
four years ago, utah sent out a small booklet outlining all of the candidates in all the races and briefly listed their positions, platforms, or principles. in a move that would be quite high on the dork scale, i read through everyone and made a small list of who i wanted to vote for. and when i went to vote, i took it with me.
i didn't have any list or any booklet with me today. so i cast my vote for the only candidates about which i was informed and put my "i voted" sticker on my shirt.