Election Conversations

Everybody has something to say about this election. The intensity of like or dislike for each candidate, the division of this country, the state of the economy, you name it. I have never seen more people so passionate about this election. I hope that all of their passion turns out at the voting booths.

Regardless of who wins, although if Bush wins I might go into serious depression, I would hope that they would each direct tremendous amounts of money into Education. Without educating the next generation and every generation after that, we will never continue to be a the top of our game.

Yesterday, I was at the local vegetable stand in Amagansett (east end of Long Island). The conversation turned to politics. Truthfully, I much prefer the conversation about the local tomatoes and the weather but they started talking about the Republican Convention and the protests. I was aghast by their conversation. The owner and her daughter both declared that they were “Independents”. They voted for the candidate. I am not sure they voted on issues but just if they liked the candidate. They were both miffed that John Edwards was not the top choice on the Democractic ticket and they did not like Kerry so they were not voting for them. Were they voting for Bush? I could not go there with them. I did not want to know if the answer was yes. Were they just forsaking their vote because they didn’t like the guy? How about policy? How about how each candidate differs on decisions they would make? How they would lay out a budget? How it would affect their lives and taxes? The whole thing baffled me.

So, I go back to Education. Perhaps these women were not educated properly. They weren’t taught to challenge authority. They weren’t taught to ask questions. They weren’t taught to look at the issues. They weren’t taught to be pioneers of change. They weren’t taught to look through the transparency of media and advertisement. They don’t know these candidates any better than most Americans, at least intimately. Did they have dinner with either of them and decide which ones company they preferred?

That is the most scary thing about this election. The majority of Americans vote for a candidate because they either like them or they don’t. John Edwards actually talked about that at a small fundraiser I attended this past year. He had campaigned for Gore in the South. People actually said they liked Gore’s policies but were voting for Bush. He asked them why? Their answer was simple, “they just liked that George Bush.”. That is scary. That is why we must, as a country, spend more money on Education.