- - Thursday, March 3, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

It is clear that the size of America’s informed electorate is dwindling.

Americans who claimed to favor small government voted for President Obama, and Sen. Bernard Sanders‘ supporters have been busy incorrectly defining socialism.

Over 60 percent of voters are completely off base when it comes to abortion statistics, an issue they claim to know very well, and the ludicrous list goes on and on.

Where have the politically educated voters gone?

Without the presence of a more informed electorate, American democracy will slowly crumble due to its inability to represent the needs of its people.

A majority of likely voters say that their fellow citizens have the responsibility to be informed on major policy issues, but most Americans are not informed at all or completely misinformed, and their lack of political education has been showing at the polls.

Voters have been quick to jump from candidate to candidate, basing their voting decisions on the latest sound bite or bit of misinformation released by the media or on the Internet.

Clearly, any push for an informed electorate has been overshadowed by immense amounts of misinformation combined with the entertainment value of this year’s unique presidential election.

And while Americans certainly have the right to be as informed or uninformed as they wish, is this really the America our Founding Fathers envisioned, a country filled with a bunch of uninformed citizens basing their votes off of their changing emotions?

Of course not, which is why now, more than ever, changes must be made.

The time is now.

We can no longer permit “all talk, no action” leaders to be elected on either side of the aisle.

We must stop our congressmen from continually adding to the over $19 trillion national debt.

It is time for citizens to step forward as leaders of their generations and inspire the beginning of a new age of political participation.

Yes, informed voters, I’m talking to you.

Start a conversation with your neighbors, send a letter to your congressman, call into a talk radio show, write a letter to the editor in your local newspaper, call out the media on false truths and most importantly, get out to vote.

Your small efforts can and will go a long way.

By putting pressure on the media and inspiring the educated involvement of your fellow citizens, you can prevent a potential breakdown of the foundation of this country.

With the presence of an informed electorate, democracy will flourish and citizens will experience the advantages of enlightened political contribution, better leaders will be elected, better policies will be implemented and Americans will prosper.

Madison Gesiotto is a staff editor for the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law. The author’s views are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law.

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