Friday, October 31, 2014

I Voted - Now Shut Up

Here in Oregon, we vote by mail.  Last week I received my ballot, dutifully filled it out, and sent it in.  While I've made my series of educated choices, and signed on the dotted line, I still find myself inundated with fact bending campaign commercials every time I watch TV.

 A voter returns his vote-by-mail ballot in the 2006 General elections in Lane County, Oregon.
Subject: A voter returns his vote-by-mail ballot in the 2006 General elections in Lane County, Oregon. | Date: 10/22/2006 | Photographer: Chris Phan | This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
If I'm not being subjected to mixed messages about "genetically engineered foods" I'm being forced to watch mental tripe from people who want registered independents to be able vote in party primaries.  If Ballot Measure ads aren't annoying enough, I have to watch political candidates distort one another's history and views.

OK, I turned the TV off, turned my computer on, and found the following email from Senator Wyden's office.


Here in Oregon it's easy to vote. You can do it at your own kitchen table, at a time that works for you. It’s another reason Oregon is different.

Now, with just 4 days to go, if you haven't already, make a plan to vote. With less than a third of Oregon ballots returned so far, it's important to get your ballot in quick."

Keep in mind, I'll vote for Senator Wyden every single time he runs, but he's not even running in this election.  His co-Senator, Merkley, doesn't need the assistance; he's running against a crazy person.  Senator Wyden is, as near as I can tell, campaigning to campaign.

I don't think my election overload would as extreme as it is, if the ads were informative and honest.  However, the ads are designed to be emotionally provocative rather than fact based.

For example, in the debate over labeling "genetically engineered foods," one side is showing pictures of blue dyed corn and men in lab coats, trying to conjure images of Dr. Frankenstein, while the opposition is basically saying, "Those dirty liers are lying.  Uh, stop it."  Nobody is explaining that the hybrid fruit, tangelo (mandarin orange + grapefruit), and mating the best cow with the best bull to get the best next generation of beef are time honored examples of "genetically engineered foods."

I could say similar things about each contest.  Since watching such ads, and reading campaign materials, won't educate voters in any meaningful way, I'd rather see commercials for cars and beer during Grimm tonight.



  1. James- great post about the GMOs. Hope you're having a great weekend.

    1. Thanks. When people don't think about the meaning of the terms they use, it makes me crazy.