America’s Unqualified Voters (EP.89)

Unqualified Voters

Summary

Perhaps you can guess from the title that this is not a “get out the vote” podcast. But this is a “get out the qualified vote podcast.” The key here is in defining “qualified”. Yes, people should be legally qualified, and be able to prove who they are in order to vote. Qualifying legally gives one the right to vote. One of the principles we believe in here at Revolution 2.0™ is that with every right, in this case the right to vote after qualifying legally, comes an equal or greater responsibility.

For the next 10 minutes, we will unpack what the responsibility is that comes with the right to vote, and what that responsibility means.

Transcript

Perhaps you can guess from the title that this is not a “get out the vote” podcast. But this is a “get out the qualified vote podcast.” The key here is in defining “qualified”. Yes, people should be legally qualified, and be able to prove who they are in order to vote. Qualifying legally gives one the right to vote. One of the principles we believe in here at Revolution 2.0™ is that with every right, in this case the right to vote after qualifying legally, comes an equal or greater responsibility.

For the next 10 minutes, we will unpack what the responsibility is that comes with the right to vote, and what that responsibility means.

At the official founding of our nation, with the ratification of the Constitution in 1789, only propertied white males could vote. This was the opposite of inclusiveness and diversity, but it had temporary advantages. These were the very men who had just gone through a revolution, an impossible revolution pitting a tiny country with an ill trained and poorly equipped military, against the the most powerful force the world had ever seen. Here’s a summary of our miraculous victory: We lost and we lost and we lost–until we won. This country, our country, had risked everything and won. America and its fighters risked their lives, property and money–everything they had–to gain their–and our–freedom. They had, in the most expansive meaning of the term, “skin in the game.” You can believe that they had enough of themselves invested in their country, that they–each one–would do a deep dive into the candidates and issues before voting. A deep dive that would go far beyond what the vast majority of what people–even those who feel they are well informed voters–are willing to do today.

Why? The answer is simple; they knew how precious freedom was–they initially did not have it, then risked everything to get it. And they were not going to endanger that treasured freedom by being casual voters.

Very few people today are anywhere near that diligent when it comes to voting. Why? The answer is again simple; we take our freedoms for granted, never believing for a moment that there is any connection between those precious–and rare–freedoms, and how well we inform ourselves before we participate in the political process. Since we do not realize what our freedoms are worth, what it cost to earn and maintain them, we assign little value to them. And they’re not worth protecting with something small as being well-informed. Note that we are not talking about taking up arms and fighting for our freedoms; we are talking about acquiring and analysing information.

All too many of our politicians, media and influencers are no longer building upon the breakthrough vision that was America in 1776, desperately fought for and defended many times, and given to us for growth and protection. Those politicians, media and influencers are standing in the middle of the amazing results that we all benefit from. They not only criticize and demean our country, they want to harvest the bounty that we have all inherited, without replanting, and use it for their personal and party’s gain. Imagine for a moment a group that inherited a generations old, amazingly productive farm and ranch, now covering hundreds of thousands of acres, which had grown to be able to feed millions of people. Now imagine with me that the new owners, the new leaders, wanted to stop growing the operation. They found legitimate wrongdoing in the past, casually ignoring the great good things that were done, and now want to stop planting and growing. And at the same time, they want, as some sort of penance, to no longer sell what the enterprise produces, but simply give things away. How long will this enterprise that feeds those millions last; how long will it be able to fulfill its purpose? Does any of this remind you of the Golden Goose?

Pause for a quote: “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country” -John F. Kennedy, Democrat, 35th President of the United States. How many of our leaders; how many of us, are doing that?

Let’s switch thing up and talk about what does not qualify as well informed.

    1. Listening and watching to the same news sources. All of them have biases. Every. Last. One.
    1. Having political and financial conversations only with those with whom we agree.
    1. Accepting cliches, slogans and political taglines as having any validity at all. “I’m with Her” or “Lock her up.” are not reasoned arguments.
    1. Accepting label matching instead of digging into the issues. For example, voting for a ballot issue because the party you align with supports it instead of doing your own research.
    1. Aligning with your geography. Will, what does this mean? Look at a map, and you will see that different geographies and different types of geographies can line up solidly behind one party of the other. For example, cities are typically aligned with one party, and rural areas back the other. The strong tendency is to assume that the “other people” just don’t get it, and that your people do. That’s not only arrogant, but dangerous. Dangerous because that is one of the types of division that is pulling our country apart.
  1. Voting for personalities and not policies. Yes, character counts, but the much ballyhooed “likeability factor” is nonsense. We are voting for the person we want to win, not voting for Miss Congeniality.

Now for some things to do:

    1. Read and listen to several different sources of information. And from different viewpoints–even those that raise the hair on the back of your neck. For example, I consult CNN, OAN, WSJ, Fox, the BBC and my local paper, the Colorado Springs Gazette. I follow Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter, and subscribe to Libertarian emails. Take any story, go to all the sources, and where they are all saying the same thing is the nucleus of the truth.
    1. Get outta town. Give credence to people in other geographies who have very different views from you.
    1. Listen. Yes, listen. Listen to others who have widely divergent views. Learn to why they think that way. No, listening is not a setup so that you have the ammunition you need to make the perfect comeback. Retorts like that may be fun, but they make enemies and create further division. Listen to learn, and, perhaps, eventually to persuade.
  1. Read. Yes, read. Then read some more. Not all readers are good leaders, but all good leaders are readers.

Today’s Key Point: I am not advocating for a return to passing a mandatory literacy test prior to voting. I am advocating for people to give themselves a rigorous political literacy test prior to voting.

All of this ties to the core, driving principles at Revolution 2.0, which are:

    1. Personal Responsibility; take it, teach it and,
  1. Be Your Brother’s Keeper. The answer to the biblical question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” is a ringing, unequivocal “Yes.” There is no other answer.

If we apply those two core principles simultaneously, never only one or the other, we will always be on the right path. Depending upon what we face, one principle or the other may appropriately be given more emphasis, but they are always acted upon together.

Let’s continue to build on the revolutionary vision that we inherited. Read the blog, listen to the podcast, subscribe, act. Here’s what I mean my “acting.”

    • Read the blogs and/or listen to the podcasts.
    • Comment in the blogs. Let others know that you are thinking.
    • Subscribe and recommend that others subscribe as well.
    • Attach links from blogs into your social media feeds. Share your thoughts about the link.
  • From time-to-time, attach links to blogs in emails that mention related subjects. Or just send the links to family and friends.

Revolution 1.0 was built by people talking to other people, agreeing and disagreeing, but always finding ways to stay united and going forward. Revolution 2.0 will be built the same way.

And visit the store. Fun stuff, including hats, mugs and t-shirts. Recommend other items that you’d like to see.

Join me. Let’s grow this together.

Links and References

Constitution

Golden Goose

Contact

As we get ready to wrap up, please do reach out with comments or questions about this podcast or anything that comes to mind.  You can email me at will@revolution2-0.org, or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. And you can subscribe to the podcast on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google, or Stitcher.

Now it is time for our usual parting thought. It is not enough to be informed. It is not enough to be a well informed voter. We need to act.  And if we, you and I, don’t do something, then the others who are doing something, will continue to run the show.

Remember: Knowledge by itself is like running a winning race, then stopping just before the finish line.

Will Luden, writing to you from my home office at 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.

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Will Luden

I am your host, Will Luden, former long-time high-tech CEO and Board Chair. I had no idea when I started this podcast that it would become the highest calling of my professional career. Lincoln famously hoped that a government, “…of the people, by the people and for the people…”, would not perish from this earth. My hope, the reason for Revolution 2.0 ”A Booster Shot”, is that a government based on common goals, achieved by applying non agenda-based reasoning to core facts, will allow us to continue to build on our mutual inheritance of a legacy of dedication to seemingly impossible ideals, a legacy that also includes a history of achieving them.
Will Luden
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