11/26/08 — Smart voters: Next push should be for people who know issues

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Smart voters: Next push should be for people who know issues

Now that the historic numbers are in and the votes have almost completely been certified, it is time to talk turkey -- about those who have and will cast their votes in present and future presidential elections.

Record turnouts across the country were a welcome sight for many of those who have long thought that Americans seem to have no interest in their government and no appreciation for their right to vote.

In Wayne County alone, 72 percent of registered voters decided to get out and make their choices known.

That is an incredible record.

And then just when many pundits were starting to wonder if perhaps American voters were back in the saddle again, the talk show hosts and comedians decided to ask people why they cast their votes the way they did -- and what they wanted to see out of their new administration.

And the answers were more than a little shocking.

One man said it was such an important election that he voted twice. Another young voter said that he did not mind at all that Sarah Palin would be vice president if Barack Obama was elected.

And then there were the people who expressed support for the policies of Barack Obama. That would have been great ... except they were the policies on which John McCain was campaigning.

These were some of the most blatant examples of voter irresponsibility on the Democratic side -- and there were most assuredly some on the Republicans' side, too.

And no matter which party you claim, that can't be the kind of electorate you want to see deciding the future of your country.

It is more than a little surprising how many adults are simply uninformed about their country and its government.

And this time, it was even more of a concern because it seems that race might have been an overwhelming factor in how some people cast their ballots -- both ways.

America's future is dependent on the intelligence and competence of the men and women we elect to run it. Decisions about whom to put in elected office must be made with that in mind -- and by voters who take their responsibility seriously.

And to get the best people into office, we have to have an electorate that knows what it is doing.

So, over the next four years, perhaps there can be a bipartisan effort to lead a voter education drive. That would be a policy worth supporting.

Published in Editorials on November 26, 2008 11:08 AM