Patriots Arise! – Protecting Our Democracy the Old-Fashioned Way

Posted: 2018/07/29 in Politics

With mid-term elections on the horizon just two years after an election meddled with by Russian hackers and influence operatives (for lack of a better name), I’ve been thinking a lot about how we protect the central process of democratic governance: voting.  If I may be so bold as to advise the American electorate, I have a few suggestions.

(1)  Get over any denial that the fairness of our elections and their outcomes are challenged by gerrymandering, the overwhelming volume of the voice of superpacs, and social media influence and campaign hacking by Russians.

(2)  Advocate for and support legislation that fixes gerrymandering.  Representatives should not pick their voters.  Voters should pick their representatives.

(3)  Vote!  Let me repeat myself—VOTE!

(4)  With regard to political ads on TV, radio, etc.:  Bear in mind that an ad supported by a named candidate (thus speaking with their voice) will skew information to make themselves look better and their opponents look worse.  Political ads are not news nor objective information.

(5)  With regard to ads by superpacs, which do not identify a candidate they support but trash talk another candidate . . . just ignore them.  These ads are blatantly biased propaganda which tend to play fast and loose with the what they purport to inform us with.  Campaign law allows superpacs to hide their membership, thus if we see an ad from an organization named “Patriots for Prosperity” (as a made up example), there will be no way to find out who belongs to it and is funding it.  Think about it—even if you agree with a superpac ad’s sentiments, do you want to allow yourself to be influenced by a group of anonymous political operatives?

(5)  Ignore social media, specifically the stuff we run across that pitches us into a snit so that we pass it on to all of our friends.  That’s where Russian influence operatives work to sway public opinion by stoking our fears and prejudices.  Social media is a lousy place to look for news.

(6)  Try as best you can to educate yourself about what will be on your ballot this fall.

To sum up:
– Don’t be a sucker
– VOTE!

By the way—an interesting article on what the Russians might do to “participate” in our democratic process can be found here.

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