I overheard some high schoolers’ discussions this morning, while we sat at separate tables and ate bagels.
One girl began telling her classmates: “My mom told me yesterday there were special elections and that I could vote. Well, everyone there was like in their 50s. It felt really strange. I decided to vote for a Republican on the ballot because there are some 200 people on the Council and they’re all Democrats, so I figured it would make no difference to have someone from another party.”
“But, the Council people are all criminals,” chimed in one listener.
“What did they do?” another asked.
Images of Marion Barry swirled around my head.
A small voice inside my head said “Go and tell them that they are talking rubbish.” I chewed on my bagel and looked out at the sunlit sports fields. The voice continued: “You owe it to your generation and the future generations to get these soon-to be voting citizens wised up…” I chewed more intently.
I was not in the mood to solve this little set of ‘misunderstanding’.
You don’t have to know anything to vote. For the record, a mere 10 percent of eligible voters cast their ballot. I don’t know if any of the voters knew much about what they were doing. Better to vote on impulse? Better to vote on convictions Better to vote on prejudice? The results will never let us know.
None of this need be of much importance, other than the thought that in a world so replete with information and seemingly simple and fast ways for many to get at information, getting correct information remains as illusive as handfuls of mist. Maybe, too, the ‘right’ information is largely redundant.