The apathy of the voting public

By Shelley McKinney
web posted July 31, 2000

In the past few days, I have found that if you're looking for a pleasant way to spend your summer leisure, do not occupy yourself by reading poll results, even if you read them while lounging by the pool with a glass of lemonade at your elbow.. Few of these polls are going to tell you much of anything you hoped to hear, and several of them will make you want to jump off the diving board with bricks tied to your ankles.

I am addicted to the perusing of poll results, even though I view some of the pollsters themselves with raised eyebrows ABCNews.com/Washington Post polls so often seem to come up with results that bear out the liberal beliefs of these two establishments, which makes me wonder how reliable their data is. It's as if they're saying "here's what we personally believe, and just think! All of these people completely agree with us! Isn't that wonderful and amazing?" I'm not saying that the polls are deliberately skewed, you understand -- I'm just saying that I find them questionable.

However, my own personal bete-noire poll this week comes from not from ABCNews, but from Portrait of America (POA) which did a survey to ascertain the mood of voters as the country comes off the eight-year scandal-binge of the Clinton Administration. And the problem that I have with this poll is not that I don't believe in the veracity of the survey's statistics; rather, it's that I do believe.

The POA poll's first question was "In terms of its impact on your own life, how much of a difference will it make if George W. Bush or Al Gore is elected President?" and the answer was disheartening. According to the statistics, 61 per cent of the people surveyed think that it will make some, little, or no difference who is elected. The poll's second question asked what difference it would make to our country it would make if Mr. Bush or Al Gore were elected and 59 per cent of the respondents replied that there would be some, little, or no difference. Only 31 per cent think that who is elected would make a big difference to our country's future.

This is not good. You have to wonder where these people have been or what has happened to them to make them so apathetic about their future as United States citizens. I realize that not everyone is as politically motivated as the readers of Enter Stage Right, but these results speak of a certain malaise...as if people have had the heart and spirit taken right out of them.

That wouldn't really surprise me at all. The past eight years have treated us to one hair-raising, eye-popping event after another. Barely do we have time to recover from the indignity of the Lincoln Bedroom's newly installed revolving door and the big wads of cash being left on the antique bedside table ("Wham, bam, thank you...er- Abe") before we find out that the First Lady is a mighty plucky little investor who can turn a measly little thousand dollars in cattle shares into a veritable stampede of cash, running headlong into her bank account. And then there are the President's R&R activities, most of which seems to be conducted with his pants around his ankles. We've been led through one "-gate" after another, up and down and all around the Clinton's twisted, weed-infested garden path.

It's been enough to make the most stalwart patriots among us want to make confetti out of the morning paper and fling it overhead while falling face first into the oatmeal.

Those of you reading ESR -- part of the 31 per cent who know that it will make a big difference who our new President will be -- realize that we can't give up. Socialism, in the guise of liberal ideologues who "care," creeps closer and closer all the time. Al Gore wants to be the benign patriarch of our country -- he cares so much about us all and he wants us to be safe, so let's consider gun control and the eventual repeal of the Second Amendment to our Constitution.

Mr. Gore and his compassionate cronies (Senator Dianne Feinstein, talk show host Rosie O'Donnell, and all those other silly idiots that took place in and gave support to the so-called "Million Mom March") want your guns because you might hurt yourselves with them. You see, they really think that you're kind of......well, dumb. That you don't have the sense to teach your children that firearms are dangerous and keep them locked up (the guns, not the kids.) I'm sure that there are liberals out there who are purely convinced that gun owners leave loaded weapons just lying about on the coffee table. "Hey! I've got a good idea! Let's make popcorn and play a few rounds of Russian Roulette!"

Anyway, the best way for bad things to not happen with guns is that all guns should be taken away from all people, right? That's what liberals think. (You and I tend to think that the best way to stop bad things from happening with guns is to lock up the criminals who use them to commit crimes in a dark, spidery prison, but that's neither here nor there.) So with liberals in power in Washington, we'll have laws to license guns, then we'll have laws to register guns, and then -- when the bureaucrats know where you live and just how many firearms you own -- they'll tell you that you have to turn them in. If you refuse to comply like an obedient little child, they'll come and get them from you, and they'll probably rip your "I Support the NRA" sticker right off the back of your car while they're at it.

Impossible, you say? Well there were many, many citizens in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom who thought that it would be impossible there, too, but as socialism took over in those countries, the citizens were disarmed. Now the bad guys have all the guns, and they are extremely grateful to the paternalistic governments that made it possible for them to rape, rob, and murder with such efficiency.

There's also a certain socialistic senatorial hopeful dragging her carpetbag around New York who hasn't yet shelved all her plans for a national health care system. If New Yorkers elect her, Hillary Clinton will be poised and ready to start all of her thwarted plans again. People who work in the health care industry need to be very concerned about this, because Mrs. Clinton was ready to tell us in her husband's first term of office how many doctors could specialize in a certain area and even how many students were allowed to begin medical school or train as, say, pharmacists. She was ready to tell you who your general practitioner was going to be and what treatments were going to be available to you.

Mrs. Clinton wants to do these things for you because she knows that you aren't even half as smart as she is, and you, you poor rube, need to have someone leading you by the hand. Some people call this big government and George Orwell called it Big Brother, but what it it is, is socialism and it is the main reason why so many Canadians are desperate to seek health care across our borders. National health is an unmanageable behemoth, all wrapped up in red tape, a bureaucratic nightmare.

Like gun confiscation, this, too, will probably happen if we let down our guard and allow ourselves to become apathetic. In the Bible, Proverbs 6:10 says, "A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man." I believe that this verse not only speaks of physical laziness, but of moral, spiritual, and intellectual lassitude as well. We have to stay awake and give the sleepers around us a good, sharp poke in the ribs to keep their heads from nodding, too.

Otherwise, when we are rudely jerked from our slumber by the sound of a brass band playing "Hail to the Chief" on the morning of November 8, 2000, the first sight we'll see as we open our eyes is the smiling face of Al Gore bending over us to say, "Ssh....it's still early. You just go on back to sleep, little dears. Daddy's got everything under control....."

Shelley McKinney is a staff writer at Ether Zone and freelance writer and can be reached at ecaillie@earthlink.net.

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