I used to be an advertising copy writer. One of the first rules of advertising is keeping it simple. I was taught that when you write for public eyes, you need to write words that are easily understood by a sixth grader. It’s truly an art form to be interesting and understandable at the same time. For the most part I keep it simple. What the hell does that have to do with politics and taxing the rich?
You are going to see some absurd ideas today but they are no more crazy than a national high school dropout rate that is hovering over 25% now. The dropout rate is now over 40% in Nevada, while Mississippi and New Mexico are almost there. Give them another year or two of bad leadership and I am confident they can join Nevada. In the state of Nevada almost 1 in 2 kids fails to finish high school. Is this acceptable? I don’t think so.
I was inspired to write this after running into a cousin yesterday. This man has very little education. He’s 40 years old and I can’t recall him having a job since he was in his early 20’s. He is on S.S.I. He and his wife are talking about putting their newest addition up for adoption, but they have not decided. She is due soon and he says they simply can not afford another child. He also told me that he wants to move to Colorado as soon as he can afford to, because of the new marijuana laws.
Way to go Colorado! You reap what you sow. I’m sure he will fit right in there.
He sent me a text and asked me if I wanted to hang out. I told him that we were getting ready to go out for dinner, and he wanted to join us. The only problem was that he could only afford McDonald’s. I asked my better half, Alisha, and she complied. No big deal, family is family and better food could wait for another day.
For the most part we had a nice visit, but I made the mistake of saying something about Obama, and the response I got was horrifying. I bit my tongue, said nothing, and quickly changed the subject.
“I don’t much care for Obama either, but taxing the rich thing is something they should have done a long time ago.”
WTF? When I hear some things I almost freeze in a state of semi-shock because I find it so hard to believe that people could be so uniformed. Family is family, and the conversation about his misconceptions will wait for another time when it can be just the two of us. There was no use ruining dinner for everyone else. But can you imagine how fast my blood pressure rose when I heard that? It’s probably a miracle that I didn’t have a stroke on the spot.
How can people be so poorly educated on even basic truths in this country?
It makes me wonder if the 2016 candidates need to “dumb it up” a little. I am serious. If a 40-year-old man can not understand that the rich have been taxed before, and we are arguing over how much to tax them, then we need a way to reach people like this. It is not fair for someone who knows the issues to have their vote canceled by someone who doesn’t have a clue what is going on. It is not good for the future of this country.
You can think I am being as dumb as he is but this man represents a large and growing percentage of the population that is not educated about even the basics. They don’t follow the news unless it is sponsored by MTV.
The part of me that is angry and frustrated wants to suggest something like a new book, which I could write and illustrate in a few days, entitled See Spot Run. See Spot Vote for Obama.
Maybe we should get 6th graders to actually write responses to a general series of questions like…
- What does it mean to be a republican?
- What does it mean to be a democrat?
- Do you feel like prayer should be allowed in your classroom?
We could then compile the best answers and pass booklets out in areas that are notorious for poorly educated people. Would that work? I doubt it. Just as soon as Oprah came on and started running her mouth, we would have lost everything we gained. And, by the way…getting a person who chose to give up their right to an education, to read a book is not going to happen without a master strategy.
Honestly it has to have sex and violence. That’s what uneducated people like. There have to be bubble captions like, “Oh yeah baby, that’s my republican daddy.” The two need to be spies running for their lives from undercover operatives. There must be violence and sex, and if the two were vampires it would be even better. It has to be a comic book. That may be our best chance to reach voters.
The only problem I foresee with this is that reading is difficult and they would probably only look at the pictures.
Perhaps the lolcats on Facebook is our most effective approach. People will read 10 word blurbs for a cute kitty. Maybe that’s our best chance. People will think I am an asshole for saying that, but I guarantee that I will get 50 times as many “likes” for any lolcat than I will for this article, or any article. That is the nature of what we are dealing with. People don’t read much.
When people do read, they don’t often choose to read about things that are so important for the future of this country. They want to be entertained and not “bored.”
I think putting the candidates on Jerry Springer and Steve Wilkos might be a chance to educate the voters. They don’t have to actually fight but if they act angry and swing at the wind it has good production value. It also ensures that only the best actors will make it to office. We have to keep standards high for the oval office. Actors need to know which side of the eye-lid to wipe when they pretend to cry, for instance.
Honestly, what are we going to do? People who choose to give up their right to an education are not going to read any book we put out, even if the words are plain enough to understand. People just don’t care. Books make their poor little heads hurt, unless they are books about vampires, cheating husbands, or smoking it up in Colorado.
If people want the privilege of voting then they carry the responsibility of informing themselves. That is my opinion.
My proposal is something much more concrete than comic books but it will likely never be taken seriously. People should not be allowed to vote without a high school diploma or equivalent. Period. Paragraph. End of Story.
The liberals will call me every name in the book for saying that. They will argue that the option of education doesn’t exist for everyone. I will say this in words that everyone can understand…bull shit. If you get pregnant when you are 16 and drop out of school, I won’t judge you. Life happens. If you have to go back and get a GED at the age of 55 then do it. It is not a perfect solution because I know older people who grew up in a different time when education meant less than the family farm. But we have to break a few eggs to make an omelet. The law has to apply to everyone.
You can go back and finish school through a GED program. If you at least try to educate yourself then we will work with you. If you are too lazy to take care of this, then we don’t care what politics you support. You voluntarily gave up your education and you are voluntarily giving up your right to vote.
I sit here today and know full well that this step would not be drastic enough to fix everything, but at least it is a move in the right direction. I think this should be a bare minimum. If you want to vote you should be required to have a diploma. Employers who demand results can require this but a government which needs results can not?
I think it is only a small step in the right direction and we live in a system of entitlements where we can’t even require something that seems to be common sense. Good decisions stem from education. I can’t make people care about real issues, but I can at least weed out a few people who care about nothing, including their own education.
Maybe if people are taught to make responsible decisions then we will start to see them make those decisions more consistently. Plus the extra money they can earn with that diploma can’t hurt. So why will I be portrayed as satan’s spawn for saying this? Educated people know why and it’s sad. It’s all politics.
Either way I think the only people who would want my cousin voting in the next election would be the same people who supported Obama in this election. They will say it’s about his rights and I say that they are full of shit. They know that my cousin will never likely vote for a conservative. They do not care about your rights. Don’t believe them. They care about what gets them elected.
That’s not to say that you didn’t have idiot Romney voters running around too. “I voted for Romney because my preacher told me that Obama was the anti-Christ, but we still need to tax the rich people.”
I can’t tell you all the stupid rationale people use to make dumb decisions, but I will tell you that the people of this country deserve better.
There you have it. I feel better and we still have no answers. It’s not like the bleeding hearts are ever going to make people get an education before making educated decisions.
Democratic liberals fear that such a thing would cause them to lose elections and they know it. Argue for human rights all you want. What about my right to have people with a brain deciding the future of my country?
The liberals can argue that college educated people in Virginia voted for Obama and that education has nothing to do with it. I will accept that argument and take my chances with the 49 other states, because I am sick and tired of people like my cousin being allowed to make decisions based on his own ignorance of the truth. He, and people like him, cancel out my vote and yours.
It is unfair to the people who actually take part in the system and want a better America. I am tired of talking about “rights” when we need to talk about “responsibilities.” The country needs a shot of responsibility now.
Is it any wonder that things are such a mess?
“First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.”
I know family is family, but you need to find a calm and rational way to plant the seed. You don’t have to change his mind (or others you encounter) in 30 seconds, just let them know you disagree. They’ll come around. They always do. Especially when they come for them. And if you speak now, they’ll know where to find help and you can be there for your cousin, because he’s family.
Absolutely, I just did not want to have that conversation in front of the kids. I’m not sure requiring people to have a diploma to vote is an answer either, but something has to be done to educate the masses. There are surely some critical thinking people without any formal education and many lock-stepping non-thinkers who have advanced degrees. I was on a rant today, and nothing more. You will never see me featured on CNN or FoxNews because I am too much of a wildcard. LOL You are right. I will have a conversation with him at a later point in time.
As to family – your family, your rules. I would’ve beaten the idiot to death, and hoped history would forget we were related. (And i’ve almost done that – and given I have a small family… It’s bad.)
You cite the original reason for limited franchise, which I believe in: If you don’t have skin in the game, you don’t vote, PERIOD. And someone on SSI for that long? YEah, I’d remove them from the family ledger.
But my family is full of arrogant obnoxious prats (and I’m likely one, too.) But there IS something to be said for actual ACTION.