Every day 10,000 people turn 65, and the senior vote increases in value.
Scanning news reports just 23 days before the general election, I found striking how important the senior vote is becoming. The headlines read, ‘Seniors flipping on Trump’ or some variation thereof. It appears especially true in Florida.
Politico reports that in 2016, 52% of seniors supported Trump, those numbers are not there this year, and it is critical as seniors turn out to vote at the highest rates of all demographics.
Many of the reports focus on his handling of the pandemic as a leading cause of the loss of their support. This Boomer would add Trump’s demeanor, lack of empathy, disregard for the truth, and lack of leadership abilities to the list. When asked what is important in this election, some of my friends offered the following healthcare, competent leadership, truth and equity in education.
As a senior living in a so-called Red state, I feel this election will send both parties some strong messages. I am concerned about how the conservative voters will handle the loss of even one race. I am counting on those promising to reach across the aisle will put that into practice if elected. As a country, we need to embrace change. We need to promote civility and repair the damage done to our American way of life during the past four years. I hold both parties responsible for that damage and to return our country to its once respected position as a world leader.
In twenty-five days, Americans will elect our next President. I fully expect we will witness unusual events in the coming days. This morning it was announced the next debate would be virtual. Within minutes the incumbent announced he would not debate in front of a computer where he could be cut off.
While politicians will do what they will do, we must promote voting, the most important duty as an American. Many say my vote won’t matter; others say they can’t support either, and some have never voted. I believe this year, it is more important than ever to exercise your right and vote your conscience.
To borrow the line from a friend, “Pray, Think, Vote.”
It could be a song title, not a popular song, but one of our time. It has been an unbelievable week or so, and I’m curious what the next five weeks will hold.
Today the President remains in Walter Reed Army Hospital for treatment for the coronavirus. Lots of discussion about just how sick he is and what he will do next. I find it unbelievable that our government allowed the White House garden to introduce the Supreme Court nominee. Absolutely no distancing, very few masks, and the other precautions recommended by the CDC. Just how many of these in attendance have or will become sick is yet unknown.
This past weekend we held a garage sale. I’m pleased to report that all in attendance wore masks. I had put a sign requesting masks in the front yard, and no one argued. All respected my request. We had hand sanitizer at the cashiers table and were as careful as possible. I can’t compare my garage sale to a White House event, but I can justifiably critize those who planned that event.
a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.
Thinking back to the 2008 General Election, I remember feeling anxious and worried about what some of my friends said about then-candidate Barack Obama. The rumors, falsehoods, and conspiracy theories were more than I could stand. I remember thinking, where in the world did they come up with this?
Well, here we are twelve years later, and we are back in the same mode. It is tearing people apart. People are terrified, many for the first time in what may be a sheltered life. According to the Pew Research Center, media coverage of the Obama rumors grew tenfold over a few months before the election. From my knothole, we are seeing the same things today. Only now it is compounded by the pandemic.
The difference this year, I believe, is the politicians have mastered media manipulation. They know which buttons to push and when to schedule their announcements. When have we ever seen near-daily “pressers”? Which I believe are not legitimate news, but campaign events disguised as newsworthy.
We are now just 46 days until the General Election; we need to remain calm and question the campaign fodder. More important is we must turn out the Vote. I hear some say my vote won’t matter, or I never vote. Please encourage your family, friends, and neighbors to exercise their rights.
A friend who recently moved to a new community asked me how to find factual information about the November ballot candidates. As I thought about this, you would likely know little about local candidates unless you have lived in the same place all your life.
While we are all bombarded by flyers, commercials, and social media, we only learn what the candidates want us to know. I suggested she attend candidate forums conducted by the League of Women Voters, attend sessions sponsored by both parties, and spend time questioning the candidate should they come to your door.
I’d be interested in learning how you get to know the person who gets your vote. Please share your method of judging candidates.
I have always been proud that I’m an Independent Voter and not part of either party. While I will admit, I lean one way or the other at times; I prefer to cast my vote for the candidate or issue that squares with my conscience. As hard as I might try, being a moderate right now is hard.
We live in a time when politics are driving personal relationships, and that I find is unacceptable. I have friends and family that I genuinely care about who are “hard right” and “hard left.” Where are the other Moderates? What has happened to common sense and the common good?
As we rapidly approach the general election, I am as concerned about the local races as I am the national. Those elected to serve our schools, cities, counties, and states will pass legislation that will impact our daily lives. In the past have voted a split ticket, and I will continue to vote for the person I believe will get the job done regardless of party.
Those serving in Congress and the White House must find ways to resolve the partisan politics tearing our country apart. Those in leadership are not working together to meet our countries needs. Wonder what would happen if there was a robust Independent candidate? A moderate who would work both sides of the aisle.
We continue our dialog of the growth of Public Agenda session at local government meetings. In this post, longtime Kansas Educator Harold Frye offers his observation.
Public Input at local government meetings.
Civility and the need to be civil extend beyond city and county boards as we are in the midst of this pandemic and its impact on our communities. I spent 19 years as a school district administrator charged with providing advice to citizens elected to represent their neighbors on school boards. Now we are seeing special interest groups plead their cases to school boards regarding whether schools are open or closed, whether sports continue or are delayed, whether kids can learn as well online as in person. Most school board members come to the position with a goal to improve their communities. None expected to face attacks from those who elected them. In one school district, it was my job to engage “public relations.” Almost nothing positive happening in the schools gained the attention of the media. Only the negative slod the news. In those days, the major newspaper’s advertisers were real estate and automobiles. Therefore, painting the city schools bad helped advertisers sell more houses in the suburbs and cars to get folks there. The culture is far greater than civility alone.
During this pandemic, local governing bodies are on the publics’ hot seat more than ever before. With today’s technology, we can watch the city council and county commission meetings live. I find the public comment sessions most telling about the emotions of those who come to the podium. It is especially evident when the subject matter is masks, lockdowns, or school closures.
Fellow citizens, well-intended as they are, voice opinions based on gossip, social media, and articles they have researched. They speak of medical journal articles they have read and hold to be the final word, despite the testimony of medical experts earlier in the same meeting. Some cite media articles as evidence for their position.
These most vocal citizens gain the attention of those elected officials up for reelection this fall. They are politicians and may fall into the trap that the most vocal speak for the broader community. After watching many of these sessions, I believe they represent only themselves and maybe a few others.
Media coverage of these meetings tends to focus on the drama and outrageous statements. Some feel costumes will help their cause. Today, one woman upset with the commission found it necessary to conclude her comments by saying she recently took firearms training and purchased a gun. I believe this kind of rhetoric is harmful to our community relations.
Our society seems to be in a frenzy as we are facing issues previously unknown to our country. It’s left versus right, urban versus rural, and rich versus poor. Again, I’m, praying for a return to civility.
It is my intention that this Blog is a place to exchange ideas and learn from each other. Todays post is from a friend who wished to remain anonymous. Since it is very timely, we will respect that request.
While watching the Republican National Convention last night, I appreciated the First Lady’s perspective. First—her simple human story of fleeing oppression, for freedom. Communist oppression, for American freedom.
And then as she touched on the anniversary of the 19th Amendment, I considered my wife. I considered all free women of the world—especially all lucky enough to live in the most-free country in the world.
My wife is very smart. And independent. And beautiful. She does not speak as many languages as Mrs. Trump, but her heart is every bit as capacious.
My wife’s heritage is also Eastern-bloc, a milder version with Czech roots, but she was born and raised here in the free state of Kansas. The 19th Amendment recognition made me consider—my wife has never felt diminished because of her gender. But what if she was not afforded the natural right to her voice? What if she couldn’t vote?
She would not be the same person she is today. And that simple thought crushes me. What if her voice were suppressed? How would she temper her opinions?
And then I realized she faces that dehumanization every day. My smart, independent-minded, devoted wife is a Republican. She cannot wait to vote again this November, for freedom, equality, faith and opportunity. But because of that, her freedom of speech (the First Amendment, by the way) has been trod upon. Rudely. Every day, lately.
I yearn for a return to a more civil time. A more civil time, when voters, citizens, neighbors can disagree. But can do so without hate.
I find it very interesting how family members and friends can have such strong and opposite opinions regarding elections. The tone, meaning of many comments are nothing more than cruel. Perhaps its social media and our rush to comment on a post that moves us one way or another.
We see family members who practically assail each other over a candidate, an issue, or a movement. People feeding off doomsday comments while others seem to be goading or attempting humor.
I’d love to see more kindness, civil discussion, and respect for what others think, say, and feel. I’m asking my family, friends, and contacts to help each other practice kindness as we near the general election. Will you join in?