Today’s WTF Wednesday should really be attributed to The Mister. The idea behind the post comes from his shock at the lack of participation, knowledge, and the over all malaise of residents who enter his precinct to vote.
Yesterday’s Primary election was a bit hard for me. Working the polls, I had flashbacks to my race. My sadness aside, it also allowed me an opportunity to get my finger back on the pulse of the neighborhood, see first hand what the residents care about (some of it IS trash, but I see more looking towards summer and what they plan to do with their kids), and I also got a chance to try to educate people about voting.
I’m not going into the Republican versus Democrat debate. Readers of this blog will rightfully say I’m beating a dead horse. What I WILL say is that the American Education system needs a major overhaul when it comes to teaching children about their rights to participate in the democratic process.
In a Primary Election, one is required to vote their party. This determines who goes on the ballot in November. Unfortunately, by the time the primaries reach Pennsylvania, the top of the ticket is all but decided. This year President Obama ran unopposed and Mitt Romney is a shoe in to clinch the Republican nomination. The local races this year were some State Rep seats. In Philly, two races I followed pretty closely had disappointing results. In a society that says they want change, they still go for the status quo, electing the same people over and over again, and complaining and kvetching over and over again.
Working with New Americans, I can understand why they register as a Democrat. They do that because they want to be part of a democracy. Most of the people I work with are refugees, here on asylum, or seeking a better life for themselves. I never dissuade anyone from registering how they want. I’m not so red that I am the poster child of Republicans. I do try to educate people on the difference between a national Republican (Mittens) and a local Republican (moi.). They are focused and try to soak up education as much as possible.
Not so with some Americans. The Teen and her class took a test in US History and failed miserably. She only needed to get 6 out of 100 questions correct to be a “United States Citizen”…ponder that a moment. These are the future, the people who will lead the country, who will be the decision makers.