The end of the world is not upon us, as many would have us believe. Today is election day, and, regardless of who wins, our lives will continue. That is not to say that this election is unimportant, or that the political ramifications are negligible. Not in the slightest. In fact, this election will certainly affect the majority of Americans’ day-to-day lives. However, don’t believe the hype. Obama isn’t going to turn America into a socialist nation, and Romney isn’t going to start a genocide on the poverty-stricken Americans.
It’s only what they want you to believe.
By causing this panic among voters, either party is able to command your vote. Fear is doing for the candidates what their own personal strengths could not: make them appealing. Obama had inherited a difficult economy (as he loves to point out to anyone who will listen), but his efforts to turn it around are much less-than-desirable, and America knows it. Romney, on the other hand, has a difficult time even getting his own party to rally around him. So, we as the voters are left with the exciting job of choosing one of these lackluster candidates to lead our government for the next four years.
The motivation to do so is obviously low, so to remedy that problem, the campaigns on both sides were littered with heated language and amusing accusations about their opponents to cause a stir in their constituents. And it seemed to work. But we can’t believe the lies or be lured by the rhetoric. A voter must dig deep for the true facts and not be swayed by ridiculous ad campaigns and rumors.
I was watching television the other day when a commercial came on attacking Tammy Baldwin, the Democratic Wisconsin Senate candidate. The commercial showed a micro-clip of her yelling, “You’re damn right!” (with no context to place the comment, by the way), as the narrator told me that Tammy Baldwin was simply too extreme for Wisconsin.
I didn’t even know what to say.
It’s the political ploys such as this that somehow make voters want to act. And the saddest part about this is that, for so many voters, these commercials are the only source of information about the candidates they get. They will make completely uninformed decisions today based solely on what they hear from the television or from some other completely unreliable source.
So fear and panic over the impending apocalypse of our nation will be the primary driving point that stirs many voters to cast their ballots, and it is all because our candidates are ineffective at displaying their leadership qualities.
Whoever wins will be important because their policies are varying and wide-reaching. America, however, will trudge on as it has for three hundred years, regardless of the person sitting in the Oval Office. But do yourself a favor and get informed first. The world may not be coming to end, but we will still be affected by the change. It is our responsibility to vote on the change we want to come.
Let it be reason that guides you, not fear.
Ben Lockwood, Freshman
College of Communication