Political test

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 30, 2004

In 72 hours, we will come face-to-face with perhaps the most important decisions of our lives – is it taboo to wear red socks with tan pants?

But seriously, we do face decisions on Tuesday (Nov. 2) that will affect our lives over the next four years.

For those paying attention – and it’s hard not to since the print and electronic media have flooded our senses with political advertising over the past several months – we should know by now which of the candidates has earned our trust. We should have enough common sense to dissect all the political jargon, weed out the mud slinging in favor of what we hold as the truth, and made up our minds on what candidate best represents our moral, social and ethical standards.

For those of us who are strong in our political beliefs, we will stand proudly at the voting booth and cast our ballots for the people we feel will positively build upon the future of our great nation.

Meanwhile, the weak-minded voters will be easy to spot – just look for those using notes, more than likely given to them by someone who is using that particular voter as a &uot;warm body&uot; in order to rack up additional ballots for their candidates of preference.

I simply detest uninformed voters. There’s nothing more spirited than a debate between intelligent voters with different political viewpoints, but there’s nothing more irritating than a person who is so weak-minded that they allow another individual to guide their beliefs. Heck, why not just put them on a string and call them for what they truly are – a political puppet.

By no means is what I’m about to say a reflection on how minorities were treated prior to the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s (they couldn’t vote until passing a test that measured mild to moderate levels of intelligence), but getting back to some sort of measuring stick as far as mental capacity is concerned isn’t such a bad idea.

I’m not saying to give a test where the participant is asked to solve an algebra equation or to name the precious metals on the Table of Elements. Rather, pose questions that even a young voter – one just getting the basics of our political process – will know if they keep themselves abreast of local, state and national politics. Simply put, ask if they can name two of our past three presidents; who are the current U.S. Senators representing their state; what is the name of your state’s incumbent governor; and can you identify at least three of your county commissioners.

A failing grade prohibits a person from taking part in an election. That’s not a bad thing; it’s a good thing. Think about it – do you want someone that can’t even name those that represent their communities at the county level being in a position to decide which candidate will become the next leader of the most powerful nation in the world?

No math, no science, no questions regarding proper punctuation or sentence structure – just a test that judges a person’s political IQ. Personally, I’d sleep better at night knowing that the person standing at the voting booth was intelligent enough to make a decision based upon their beliefs, not those of a second party.

For this crusty old conservative, the &uot;Three B’s&uot; – Bush, Burr and Ballantine – are my choices. I’m 100 percent sure there are plenty of individuals that feel just as strongly for Kerry, Bowles and Easley. That’s fine because they have made choices based upon an idea of selecting candidates that match their beliefs.

I’m not going to use this space in an effort to influence your vote. All I’m asking of you is to stand firm in your beliefs and your candidates of choice and go out and vote.

If you choose to cast your ballot based upon the opinion of someone else or decide not to vote at all, then don’t cry when things aren’t going according to your plans. Shut-up and go stick your head in the sand, just like you did on Nov. 2.