Before you get to reading this post, it’s important to consider that these are just ideas in order to make the process of voting for President better regardless of which candidate you support.
The truth is that people vote for the wrong reasons all the time, and I want to go through some of those reasons and how it could be fixed.
My ultimate goal is to force every American to vote logically for the candidate that will help them and the country.
Picking a side
Politics is one of the few topics where almost everyone has an opinion on but don’t necessarily know what the fuck they are talking about. This is problem because they have to vote people in office.
So how do people end up becoming a Republican or Democrat?
Well, perhaps the best way to answer that question is to lead into other questions that are related.
Why do people end up rooting for a specific sports team? Why do people end up with a specific religion?
All of those things tend to be heavily influenced based on location and/or the influence of their parents/siblings. But it’s more complicated than that.
Back in 2005 a gallup poll was conducted to see how many teens stay true to their parents political beliefs said, “71% say their social and political ideology is about the same as mom and dad’s”.
However, a new study concluded that “over half of all children in the U.S. either misperceive or reject their parents’ political party affiliations”.
The study authors also discovered that the more politics were discussed in the home, the likelihood that a child would correctly identify their parents’ party affiliations increased. It did not, however, increase the likelihood that they will adopt said affiliations.
Plenty of us have seen kids grow up to reflect their parent’s political beliefs, but that won’t always happen.
My personal belief is that politics are influenced by parents and only strong-minded individuals will learn for themselves as to what party to support. Similar to religion. Though some kids just want to rage against the machine, and I can understand that as well.
However, there is no question that where a person grows up and lives has a direct impact on their political affiliation. Simply look at the results on the map after each presidential election.
If you break that down by counties, it almost perfectly pinpoints where major cities are vs rural areas.
Why does rural America vote Republican? That’s a different topic all together that you can read about. However, research has found that “Trump does particularly well among older, white and non-college-educated Americans.”
What’s also interesting is that people who are “conservative prefer places where the population is more spread-out, while liberals prefer denser neighborhoods.” This according to a study done by Pew Research.
Politics is like Religion or Sports
I grew to learn on my own that Politics should be put in a different basket. It’s not about who you support or who you root for. You should not be picking a team at age 12 and just sticking with them through thick and thin like it’s the Cubs. It’s about learning what’s the truth is and which party has the country’s best interest and your own best interest.
I realize that few people have the same type of thinking that I do when it comes to politics. In fact, almost no one thinks that way. Many people tend to look at politics as rooting for their sports team or religion.
Not everyone is into sports, so politics is essentially their sports team and they root hard for it. Blind love, blind devotion. You know how every mom thinks their son or daughter is the best, most wonderful, smartest child alive? It’s like that.
And yet we wonder how people can be so blindly loyal to a political party and ignore the facts. Please.
If you live in Colorado you will be a Broncos fan. What type of news would you like to hear about? How their quarterback situation is in peril or that they have the best defense in the league? I wonder.
Studies have shown that people like to hear about news and facts that enforce their beliefs. A Broncos fan wants to hear news about how awesome their defense is and a Democrat wants to hear about how awesome the Democrats are. It’s human nature.
But it also poses a problem. People tend to ignore facts if they do not support their beliefs. If you start a debate based on facts, and the truth becomes inconvenient, then the person will completely ignore the facts and say they have “a right to their opinion”. Well of course.
Scientific American has new research entitled “The psychological advantage of unfalsifiability: The appeal of untestable religious and political ideologies”
What I am trying to get at is that people are biased and do not give a shit about facts or logic.
The whole issue in regards to Fake News exists because people WANT to read about that news. They do not care to take a moment to consider if it’s real or not. To blame Facebook for allowing fake news to spread is like blaming Google for allowing fake newsletters to circulate through email. Your crazy grandpa will still send the crazy newsletters. He doesn’t care that it’s fake.
Sure, Facebook can help label stories as fake, but will people even care?
A survey conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs said Americans are fooled 75% of the time by Fake News.
Ensuring people vote in their own best interest
It’s pretty obvious that most people are voting based on some type of bias and are not voting based on logic or the truth. So how do we make sure that people vote for what’s in their best interest?
The answer is simple. Remove the ability to vote for a candidate. Yes, I know it sounds crazy, but hear me out.
If we remove the ability to vote directly for Hilary Clinton or Donald Trump then we must replace that with a new, more logical, method to vote.
mmmm, logic. sweet sweet logic.
The new way to vote for President should actually be a series of questions. First, start with some basic stuff like:
- How much money do you make?
- Where do you live?
- Size of household?
- How old are you?
- What is your sex?
If the voting is entirely electronic, then most of these questions should already be known after a person enters their social security number or scans their drivers license. However, these questions could be asked again.
The second batch of questions is entirely politically based:
- Do you support stricter gun control?
- Do you support minimum wage hikes?
- Do you support a border wall for Mexico?
- What is your stance on nuclear power?
- Are you in favor of renewable energy?
- Do you support LGBT rights?
- Are you for or against abortion?
- Are you concerned about job growth?
- Are you for paid paternity and maternity leave?
- Is protecting the earth important to you?
- Are women’s right’s important to you?
- Do you think healthcare should provide free contraception?
- Do you think pre-existing conditions should effect health coverage?
- How do you view our country’s defense spending? A) Just Right B) Too much C) Not enough
This is just a small sample size of potential questions. The questions will also need to be approved by both political parties to ensure they are fair and not pushing a person’s vote in one direction.
In order to eliminate someone’s bias, follow up questions will need to be asked based on their answers. For example, a typical republican voter will always vote against stricter gun control. They automatically equate gun control with something bad.
However, if you ask that person if they think semi-automatic weapons should be banned they may end up saying “yes”. This would be leaning democratic.
If you ask that person if a person is on the “no fly list”, should they be allowed to purchase a gun? If they say “no”, then this would also be leaning democratic.
By answering these questions, the machine will calculate a political ranking for the person and vote on behalf of the person’s best interest automatically.
Viola, that person just voted based on logic only.
Surely a republican might be pissed off if they voted democratic or vice versa, but you know what the best part is? A print out, or email will be sent to the person breaking down every question they answered and provide the true facts and which party the answer leans towards.
Not only do you vote via this method, but you are also educated on the issues.
Skipping the questions
Obviously it is everyone’s right in the country to vote for president, so no matter what people need to be offered a way to vote.
But most people will want to skip the series of questions and already know who they want to vote for. Naturally, right?
No problem. They can do so as long as they agree to give up their tax break for the next 4 years in order to do so. (Younger adults won’t care about this tax break, but that’s okay because we want young adults to vote.)
Their needs to be some type of financial penalty in order to vote directly for the candidate of their choice. When it’s gonna cost the voter money to take this route, then most people will take the series of questions rather than give up money.
Better yet, show them how much money the will potentially give up based on their current salary.
You will always see people voting against their own best interests unless you change the way people vote for president. And changing the way people vote for president will never ever happen.
Wait, what? Yes, I know my idea will never happen. But I figured I’d put it out there anyways.
If this new type of voting went into affect, you’d quickly see the Republican party move towards the middle of the political spectrum and less extreme. You’d see more of an emphasis on facts and less about spreading the bullshit on “bullshit mountain”.
In fact, ALL voting for government office should be done in this manner. And it should be a holiday for a day or even a week if that’s what it takes. Voting is one of the most important things a person can do and it’s so easily overlooked.
So where does this leave us? In a world where facts don’t matter, logic is useless, and voters don’t understand what they are doing.