As any reader can plainly see, there is a significant amount of interest in Tuesday’s primary election.
We hope this translates in to a large voter turnout.
History would tell us otherwise.
Voter turnout in primary elections normally falls below 20 percent. That’s unfortunate because invariably, only the most politically active type of voter shows up at the polls on primary election day.
And since Indiana election law precludes “open primaries” and voters must choose either a Republican or Democrat ballot, generally only the most ideological, party-involved voters slate the candidates who appear on the general election ballot in the fall.
The average voter – the person who likely has more moderate sensibilities and does not adhere strictly to all the tenets of one party or another – stays home.
The average voter sees the political process as ugly and counterproductive and generally holds a dim view of politicians.
This phenomenon – growing more prevalent each election cycle – is playing out in elections at all levels across this great land.
The result over the years is a political system bereft of any middle ground, a political system devoid of any hint of compromise.
In days gone by, politicians were revered for their ability to compromise – to work with politicians across the aisle to craft legislation that actually solved problems and made things better for their constituents.
Today, the ability to compromise is viewed among lawmakers as a weakness that will be punished at the polls in primary elections.
Politicians by and large have no stomach for compromise and who could blame them?
In the meantime, this partisian myopia and resultant inability to effectively govern has driven the approval ratings of politicians into all-time lows in the single digits, alienating voters all the more.
There is a simple solution to this poltical death spiral.
We implore you.
If you are registered, vote.
If you are not registered, it’s too late for this primary, but make sure you get registered and vote in the general election and the next primary.
Find out the candidate who best represents your views and vote. It’s not too late. We can turn this thing around.
We can elect lawmakers who represent the best interests of all their constitutents, instead of the fringes of their parties.
When we do, those lawmakers will no longer be afraid to compromise. Their approval ratings will rise and they will begin to govern effectively.
It’s pretty simple.
Just vote.