Don't you just love to see all the campaign ads included in your everyday mail lately? In case you were wondering, Candidate A has done so many rotten things, and stands for so many awful issues; it's obvious you should vote instead for Candidate B. On second thought, maybe it's a good idea to dump all that political attack mail... and inform yourself about the different candidates.
Voting is important, but you don't want to vote simply for the sake of voting. Perhaps because of the anonymous nature of voting, it can be easy to check those boxes or darken those little ovals - even if you don't know anything about the people they represent. But if someone were to ask you who you voted for and why, would you have a good answer? Of course, it isn't likely that someone would actually ask you to explain your vote. But imagining this scenario can help you think about the reasons behind your voting choices...and whether those reasons make sense or not.
It's easy to get caught up in election hype and choose candidates based on eloquence, good looks, or rosy promises. But, come to think of it, a successful salesman has some or all of those qualities and that doesn't mean he is out for your best interests. Do you know what your favorite candidate is selling? Because in politics – unlike business – the product(s) offered so invitingly for your acceptance often change dramatically upon purchase. The great-sounding proposal becomes a law. And that law might be far from what you were expecting.
If you don't inform yourself about what's going on in your government, you never know what you'll get. You never know what it will end up costing you. And, worst of all, you might vote politicians back into office the second time around, not realizing the effects their first term caused. You might find yourself complaining about constricting laws, outrageous fees, and unfair penalties that you and countless others unknowingly supported.
“We the people” should understand what we are asking for when we fill out those ballots. We should learn about our politicians and the policies they stand for, rather than allowing the initial in parentheses after their name to determine our choice. If we don't, we might end up with buyer's remorse...and no return policy.