August 1, 2017

Sidebar: Voter Beware

We learned in Sunday's post that there's an effort underway in Texas to make it illegal for individuals attempt to influence someone's vote once mail-in ballots have been issued or the voting process has started. 

As I noted, this provision seems more designed to limit a person's 1st Amendment rights than to protect a vote from fraud. I mean, unless you're willing to pay dearly for the privilege of having a heartfelt political conversation with a friend or family members - penalties under the bill max at a $4000 fine and a year in jail -  would you take the chance of being arrested for strongly encouraging someone to say, not vote for a rude, crude, lying New York businessman?  And, it extends far beyond the paper ballot which might be sitting unopened on the dining room table to include "the voting process" which could be interpreted to include any early voting windows as well as election day.

If the folks in the Texas legislature are not able to change the language, or if they refuse to, I really hope someone sues bigly to prevent candidates, PACS, and super PACS, corporations, unions, small businesses, trade associations, other loose affiliations of people, and individuals from issuing any TV, radio, and Internet ads; billboards; public transportation cards; yard signs and posters; campaign mailings; handbills, bumper stickers, tchotchkes or any and all other types of advertising once early voting is open and/or once distribution of paper ballots commences.

And no money can change hands either - no political contributions, no in-kind donations, no nothing.

And no talking, either. No door knocking, no interviews...not a word from any politicians, their spokespeople, party people, or plain old ordinary people. I mean, if I'm not able to try and sway anyone's vote, why would we allow the politicians to give it a try?

Maybe we need to take a page out of president Trump's book:
veritable pastiche is calling for a complete and total shutdown of political advertising, once the voting process has started, until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.
According to multiple studies and tons of anecdotal evidence, there is great hatred towards political advertising by large segments of the American population; the hatred crosses ideological lines and comes from all socioeconomic groups.  
Americans should have the right to be governed according to their own decisions and their votes, without the undue influence of political money and political advertising. 
Even without looking at the polling data, it's obvious to anybody that the hatred of political advertising is widespread, and growing. We know where it comes from, and why. But until we are able to determine how to fix this problem, the decisions of American voters cannot continue to be obscured and overridden by the overwhelming influence of political advertising.
We need to Make the Vote Great Again. 
Wouldn't that be fun?