Life’s Journey E-letter
Article- Political Process
Class- Writing Your Life Story
Welcome new readers and thank-you loyal subscribers.
This months article is my response to a political practice I find appalling, that of being asked repeatedly who I plan to vote for. Your personal reactions and feedback are welcome and encouraged.
Whew! The primary elections are finally over and now it is on to the general election in November. While I feel that it is my duty as a citizen to learn everything I can about the issues and candidates, then cast my vote, and have voted in every election since my eighteenth birthday, I am burned out by all the attention this election has garnered. Overall the heightened awareness is positive and having more people register to vote than ever before is wonderful in my opinion. It also brings some concerns about the increased phone calls, door knockers, and questions about which candidate a person is or has voted for.
Secret ballots are supposed to guarantee our political privacy rights, isn’t that why we vote behind a curtain and return our completed ballots under cover or return absentee ballots in unmarked envelopes? The right to keep my vote undisclosed hasn’t felt challenged until this presidential primary when I have been asked numerous times who I voted for. While I am always proud to answer that yes I voted, I decline stating who I voted for. This refusal is increasingly greeted with disbelief. When I told one questioner, who knocked on my door, that who I vote for is private their response was “some people feel that way”. After I closed the door these questions came to mind. Some people feel that way? Doesn’t everyone? What happened to privacy rights?
I find it outrageous to be asked by campaign workers if I voted for a specific candidate and when I respond that it is a confidential matter, I am treated as if I am the rude person rather than the other way around. To me asking who someone voted for is an abuse of our democratic system and it undermines a basic tenet of civil rights that we are free to vote for the candidates of our choice without reprisals. Are we so inured to the erosion of our privacy rights that we no longer even wonder why someone is asking such a personal question?
I am concerned that the seemingly common practice of asking who someone voted for will keep people away from the polls in the general and succeeding elections. Help preserve our political confidentiality by not answering when asked which candidates received your vote unless it is an exit poll or survey by a reputable company. Even then if you don’t wish to participate it is your right as an American citizen to politely decline, information gathering is one thing and invading a person’s privacy is another.
© 2008 Karen Ore, All rights reserved.
“Genuine politics -- even politics worthy of the name -- the only politics I am willing to devote myself to -- is simply a matter of serving those around us: serving the community and serving those who will come after us. Its deepest roots are moral because it is a responsibility expressed through action, to and for the whole.” Vaclav Havel
“Abraham Lincoln did not go to
“States are not moral agents, people are, and can impose moral standards on powerful institutions.” Noam Chomsky
“When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow.” Anais Nin
“Citizenship is what makes a republic -- monarchies can get along without it.” Mark Twain
“My creed is that public service must be more than doing a job efficiently and honestly. It must be a complete dedication to the people and to the nation with full recognition that every human being is entitled to courtesy and consideration, that constructive criticism is not only to be expected but sought, that smears are not only to be expected but fought, that honor is to be earned, not bought.” Margaret Chase Smith
“The citizen can bring our political and governmental institutions back to life, make them responsive and accountable, and keep them honest. No one else can.” John Gardner
“Although the connections are not always obvious, personal change is inseparable from social and political change.” Harriet Lerner
Class-Writing Your Life Story
Classes will resume the last week of September 2008. If you wish to request a specific day and time please call or e-mail Karen as soon as possible, your input is appreciated and will be used in planning classes that meet peoples needs.
The following are a few comments from this years participants about the Writing Your Life Story classes.
“Karen provided such a nurturing, supportive, safe environment to begin the journey of exploring your life through writing.” LNH
“Writing Your Life Story was an enjoyable course-very well organized with lots of valuable materials. I enjoyed the opportunity to learn from my instructor and classmates and the motivation this provided.” BG
“Karen has an intuitive feel for what I want to say further in my writing, and is a gentle yet encouraging facilitator.” MBG
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All the best, Karen
”At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.” Lao Tzu