Guest opinion by Kevin J. O’Mara
September 21, 2008
September 21, 2008
I take this data to mean that 45 percent of the people do not feel personally connected with the “process.” A quick examination of the “process” would conclude that it is a self-selective one. If you enjoy all the bickering and name-calling and or see the higher purpose in the “process” you will participate. If you do not, you will make up any number of legitimate excuses and not vote.
The election “process” does not respect or concern itself with non-voters. Therefore the responsibility lies with the non-voter to change their perspective on the “process.” If the non-voter could manage to do this, the positive impact on our society would be huge.
So, how to change a familiar time tested perspective? How about pretending it is something else? What if the 45 percent could pretend that they were watching a play that they looked forward to enjoying?
I would like to invite the reader to take an imaginary trip down New Perspective Avenue and reconsider the current political contest taking place for the president of the United States. I propose that Sen. McCain and Sen. Obama are on the same set of an ancient theater and we all get a front row seat to a wonderful theatrical experience. I mean, these are hot tickets and we all feel lucky to be there!
This theater has been the stage for all of the great tales of literature from the times of the Greeks, through Shakespeare and now into our current times. This presidential drama is on par with the greatest stories of all time. It hooks us emotionally and keeps us on the edge of seats as the conditions of comedy and tragedy play out before our very eyes! It allows us to experience the emotions of laughter and tears along with the characters on stage. Soon, we are together with the characters and we experience the learning or moral of the story. We suddenly feel more connected and human, instead of discouraged and alone. We just might consider voting.
With a little courage we (voters and non-voters alike) can examine our own lives and see that when we learned our most important lessons we were probably involved in a comedic or a tragic situation. One, you can laugh with the lesson, the other, you cry. With the real interesting lessons, you get to do both! With this perspective and emotional connection maybe we can begin to see ourselves as “able” to take part in the “process”, we could vote and not feel dirty afterwards?
I encourage you to change your perspective and look for yourself in each character/candidate. Try to put yourself in their shoes and decide if it feels like a comedic or tragic situation. Decide what you would do if you were in the same drama instead of watching it as it unfolds. It is my hunch that both you and the characters may find common ground. You are now seriously considering at least an absentee ballot!
As hard as it is to believe right now, this play (process) will come to an end and we, the voters and non- voters alike, will have to live with an ending. Whether it’s McCain or Obama, do we want the winner to think that only 55 percent of the people care? Or would we like the winner to think that 95 percent of the people care? I bet we would have a higher probability of better results with the latter. Therefore, why not use a little “pretend” with this “process” and make it eventually change for the better by your vote.
Kevin O’Mara is CEO of Midwest Analytical Services and a member of the American Chemical Society, Detroit Section and currently serves as its Governmental Affairs co-chair.