Case in point: the potential voter in the following link believes something that is 100% false, and, unfortunately, is likely to vote based on this issue: http://loudmouthelephant.blogspot.com/2012/02/exploring-tax-myth-what-tax-rates-do.html
Sadly, many, many Americans believe this myth, and they will go to the polls in November with this (and other misinformation) in their heads. To me, this is not good for the country. To have an uninformed electorate, in my opinion, is dangerous.
Case in point number two is the following video. Before you watch this, keep a few things in mind:
1. This has nothing to do with race.
2. This has everything to do with people voting for someone based on things that are simply not true.
3. This is not scientific. It is a You Tube clip of a Howard Stern Show broadcast where the interviewer asked alleged Obama supporters who they supported and then asked these supporters questions about Obama's "positions." The reality is: these were really McCain's positions. Though this clip highlights only 3 distinct cases, I think this occurs more often than people think.
Case in point number three: In 2008, when the general election's candidates were finalized and John McCain was to face off against Barack Obama, I gave the following USA Today questionnaire to about 25 of my fellow coworkers. http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/election2008/candidate-match-game.htm?loc=interstitialskip
I had them sit across from me, and I made sure they could not see my computer screen. I simply asked them the questions and had them give me the relative importance of each position.
The results (I don't remember the exact numbers): About 18 of the 25 people that took the quiz had a result that said they were a strong McCain supporter based on their opinions of his positions. The sad part: about 17 of them said, "well, I'm still voting for Obama."
What?! With regards to pertinent issues, these people strongly agreed with McCain, but proclaimed they would still vote for Obama?! What the heck were they basing their vote on? How is this good for the country? Imagine if this attitude was multiplied, oh, I don't know, about 69,456,897 times? Would we have a leader that we the people elected based not on his positions but on some other... thing? What if Obama publicly stated, "I want to destroy America and ruin this country from the inside out?" (no, fellow conservatives, don't jump on this... I know many on the right think this is his position... but it's not). Would people still have voted for him? Would they still have ignored this policy and elected him anyway?
So, how do we fix this problem? Yes, to me, this is a problem. Perhaps it's democracy's one major fault: that everyone that comprises the electorate has an equal voice and an equal vote no matter how much or how little they know or care. My solution? See below:
Behold, the USA Today candidate match game (again)! Click the image to take the quiz.
Maybe this is the 2.0 verson, but it contains all the GOP candidates (remaining and former) and president Obama. It has 11 issues (I think this was made before the contraception issue, or else it would probably have 12) and asks you to pick a position and weigh its relative importance to you. It does not reveal whose positions you match best with until after you complete the quiz.
To me, this would solve the problem of voters electing a candidate based on criteria other than the candidate's publicized positions. Maybe under this system, each candidate would submit their positions to an election board (the more they give, the better... it would be up to the candidate), and the voters would chose each issue as they did in the quiz above. Sure, it would have problems (just as our current system does), but it does ensure each voter is voting based on fact and not on the candidate's hair, or what car he/she drives, etc.
What do you think? I know, I know, this is a radical idea... but hey, I care about things like this... and sometimes it might take radical ideas to fix things.
Share your thoughts below. Thank you.
P.S. Who did you match up with? Was the post-quiz result the same as the candidate you planned on supporting? Does this change your position? Re-enforce it? Keep in mind, your views are your private views and you DO NOT have to submit them here. If you choose to, I ask one thing: please be honest :-)