On Being a “Single Issue” Voter…

By miller727@icloud.com June 21, 2016 Uncategorized 5 Comments

If you are regular follower of this blog, you know there has not been too much to follow recently.

As with the past two summers, I will be scaling back a little on my blogging frequency and length in order to catch up on some reading, learn some new technology, and essentially rest my brain.

I have learned this about myself as a writer: the desire to write good stuff and especially the expectation that you’re supposed to write good stuff  is a guaranteed, one-way trip to brain block!

I also have come to recognize that I can’t do my best job at anything in life if that “anything” is out of balance with other priorities and responsibilities in my world.

It has been a good time to take a blogcation, as there has been plenty of great material from other #oklaed bloggers on tap.

Dr. Rick Cobb (okeducationtruths) has been solidly on point with his latest “top ten” countdown list, this one covering the reasons why we MUST all vote in the June 28th Oklahoma Primary elections.

This is one of the more important election cycles in our state history. Consequently, it is critically important that we take the time to study the issues and vote to support strong public education candidates. As always, Rick does a terrific job of cutting through the clutter to reveal the essence of often complicated issues.

For some of the most thorough and well-written prose about the various candidates and their position on important education issues, you need to go no farther than Dallas Koehn’s candidate profiles on his blog, Bluecerealeducation.

I am not certain where Dallas finds the time to do all of this in-depth research, but it is truly outstanding. And, because of Dallas’s unique wit and wisdom, they are quite fun to read!

Furthermore, If you are a teacher interested in improving your skills with questioning strategies, Dallas has shared some great material in his past few posts.

I also want to give some well-deserved props to Mindy Dennison, a music teacher and blogger who routinely writes from her heart. Her last two posts at thisteachersings have been home runs in my mind.

In yesterday’s post, Grand Old Ruckus: How NOT to Win Your Constituents, Mindy does an excellent job in capturing how many Republicans are feeling as we move through these contentious state and national political campaigns.

In particular, she hits the nail on the head with this comment about recent FB posts from the Tulsa County GOP:

I think what disappoints me most concerning these comments by TCGOP is that they serve to confirm what I feared for years about my political party:  they no longer care what the people think.  If you aren’t serving the party, if you aren’t blindly following ALL of their tenants, if you aren’t pledging loyalty to the party’s agenda above everything and everybody else, if cannot agree with EVERY party stance and platform, if you dare question the motives of the party,  then you are an “insecure and rabid troll”.

Here is an example of what Mindy is referring to:

Let me start with the last clause, “I’m not a single issue voter.” This person is right. They are a zero issue voter. According to their own statement, issues don’t matter. In fact, nothing matters except that the candidate has an R next to his or her name.

If this is what it means to the GOP to be a “high information” voter, count me out.

I like to think I (and others) can delve a little deeper into a candidate’s qualifications for office beyond the political party to which they belong.

I happen to care whether or not a person is actually competent to do what he or she says they will do and whether they will lead with integrity and intelligence, not just mindless adherence to a party platform.

Furthermore, we are all certainly entitled to our opinions. However, mindless rhetoric like, “I’ve never seen a case where a democrat was the best person for the job,” comes across as arrogant, elitist, and ignorant.

While Republican Senator Rick Brinkley was embezzling nearly $2 million from the Better Business Bureau last year–in the opinion of this writer–was he really still the “best person for his job?”

Are we no longer concerned with the integrity, morality, and character of our elected representatives or is having an R or D next to your name all that is important?

And, yes, corruption, dishonesty, and lack of ethics goes both ways.

As reported earlier today, former Democratic Oklahoma Senator Mike Morgan was sentenced to 18 months for bribery while serving as the Senate President Pro Tempore. And some wonder why there is such a prevailing mindset in Oklahoma today to, “vote all the bums out.”

As for me, I am done with voting for anyone solely because of his or her political affiliation.

I care about people’s ideas, their intelligence, their character, their work ethic, their sense of justice and fairness, their empathy, their capacity for growth, their ability to listen, and their willingness to place the needs of their constituents and Oklahoma in front of their political ambitions and thirst for power.

Many of those in power recently have worked to distract us with wedge issues like abortion, religious monuments, and transgender bathrooms, while the state’s essential services dry on the vine due to years of their irresponsible budgeting and derelict leadership.

It is our fault that many of these folks got into office in the first place. It is therefore our responsibility to help get them out.

And yes, call me a single-issue voter if you wish, but I will be voting for pro-education candidates in every future election, state or federal.

Oklahoma and our nation have seen first-hand the destruction that can occur when partisan dogma and ideology are allowed to trump years of social and educational research, common sense, and the professional judgment of educators.

It is time to take the reins back from political hacks who know nothing about what it takes to teach or run a public school.

It is time to put people in office who genuinely care about the future of education in our state and the welfare of each and every child who attends school.

It is time to elect people who have the courage to make tough decisions and work across the aisle for the common good of Oklahoma’s citizens, especially those most in need.

We may only have one last best chance to fix this. Please be informed and let your voice be heard.

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