I’m a moron – please tell me who to vote for…


Well, I volunteered to be a representative of my school for the CEA (California Education Association). I’m usually not a union person. The only reason I’m pro-union in public schools is because we work for a monopoly (the government) which usually means that we and the people we serve get smashed by policy makers who don’t know what it’s like in schools. I wouldn’t be pro-union if schools were all owned and operated by private companies…in which case teacher/student rights would more or less regulate themselves.
But that’s not what I wanted to discuss today.
I got a flyer in my box today from the CEA that basically said how I am supposed to vote in the upcoming election. Yes, you heard me correctly. I’m supposed to vote no on the recall, and Bustamante for governor. It also said that the recall was put into effect by “right-wing extremists” and, for some reason, I am supposed to fear them and do all that is in my power to keep the freaks down. Between the lines, I read this from the flyer: “You are a moron. You are incapable of thinking intelligently. We are smarter than you. Therefore, rather than sharing with you rational, non-biased information, we are just going to tell you how to vote.”
Sad part is…some of the people that I work said at lunch today that they are voting no/Bustamante because “that’s what the CEA recommends.” I think I choked on my steak.
See, in my own special happy world, I believe that people can recognize bias. I believe that people want to hear clear arguments free from political jargon crap (and hope that they would recognize jargon when they saw it). I believe that people want to weigh the pros and cons of each candidate and make a decision based on the facts that they know.
Boy was I wrong.
I find it amusing that the CEA, an organization that supports teachers, uses such biased talk and jargon to make their points in their flyers. Aren’t teachers supposed to be smarter than this? If I was a language arts teacher, Ithink I would use their flyer to teach my students how to recognize generalizations, emotional jargon, bias, and scare tactics. It would really be a great example. Even if I was a left-winger, I’d still be offended by this flyer because it assumes that I am a moron incapable of making an intelligent decision.
See, I research candidates. I listen to their interviews (I try to catch all of the major candidates). I comb their websites for information. I watch their debates on T.V. I try to gather all of the information so I can make an intelligent decision. Then, on voting day, I stand in line and vote. I exercise my democratic right. And, the older I get, the more I start to notice that the voting places are desolate places free from anyone else under sixty years of age. I also realize that people carry things with them into the voting booth like the CEA bulletin that tells you who to vote for.’
Sad part is…I’m not the only one who has been noticing this. I consider it to be one of the worst plagues that has hit this country. A plague that results in the breakdown of the mind. What is it about the human mind that, even though it lives in a so-called free country, still allows others to sway it with cheap arguments and marketing tricks? Do people really want to be told how to vote??? Are we really that lazy???