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Scoot's Blog

Tune in to "The Scoot Show" for lively, candid discussions about news, politics and culture with WWL's "Radical Moderate!"

Weeknights 8pm-Midnight

Twitter: @scootwwl
Email: scoot@wwl.com
Facebook: Scoot on the Air


Scoot: Surviving Thanksgiving

The conventional vision of a traditional Thanksgiving gathering includes family and friends gathered around a table with a turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, yams, pumpkin pie and whatever else is part of your Thanksgiving feast. The setting is one of reflective solitude where thanks is given for the feast and the company of family and friends who are gathered at the festive table. But that thankful, peaceful image of is far from the chaotic reality most experience at their Thanksgiving dinner!

The ordeal begins with just getting there. If traveling by plane – a winter storm is leading to delays and cancellations. This is also the time of year when all the amateur travelers board planes – and many with kids who don't know how to act on a plane. For the record, it's not that society has become less tolerant of children – it's that society has become less tolerant of parents who can't control their kids while traveling. DO NOT let your child kick the seat of the passenger in front of them – DO NOT allow them to lie in or run up and down the aisle. And we all expect them to be courteous of those around them. It's simple – control your children or stay home! Other cultures do a better job than Americans when it comes to controlling children in public settings.

If traveling by car – prepare your children for the reality of the trip. With today's phones, tablets, etc. and games, movies, Facebook and texting - no child should complain about sitting in one spot for hours - isn't that what they do at home? If your child does complain about being bored – use that opportunity to teach them that life can be boring at times – learn to deal with it! Teaching kids to deal with being bored sometimes is preparing them to deal with life. You might actually use the opportunity of being together in the car to have a real conversation with your kids and give them a chance to talk to you. Make time to just talk with no distractions from electronic wizardry – and that mean you stay off the phone, too! Talk about the trip, the sights and talk about America. Tell them things you think about and ask them what they think about. You might be surprised what your kids are thinking about.

And then there's the madness of the Thanksgiving dinner. The house will be crowded with family members who don't see each other often and family members that don't get along. Not everyone in the same family shares the same views on political and social issues. Political ideology is thicker than blood!

There are countless things that will inspire debates about politics at the Thanksgiving table from the price of the turkey to someone asking for "the right wing" or the "left wing" to the fact that the cranberry sauce is the color of conservative states! Relatives feel the need to set other family members straight on their political thinking and the longer it has been since you've seen a relative – the more they want to set you straight. Beware – you cannot change their minds and they probably can't change yours. So, admit that the only result of those Thanksgiving debates will be strained feelings and ill-will. No matter how right you think you are – and I'm sure you are right – DO NOT engage in political, social or religious debates during the annual gathering that is supposed to be a peaceful moment to be thankful.

Try to be tolerant of the relatives that feel the need to brag about their lives and their kids and though it's terribly rude, try to tolerate even the family members that must talk loudly on their cellphone to make sure everyone hears their conversation. And since you can't train their children during this brief gathering and you can't give them a lesson in parenting, then ignore the behavior of their children which makes it obvious they really have no control over their kids. Whatever you observe will make for a great conversation on the trip home.

In life, our expectation often supersede reality. Rather than envision that traditional, peaceful Thanksgiving setting with family, friends and a bountiful of food on spread on the table, be realistic enough to prepare yourself and your family for the collusion of differing personalities and opinions that you inevitably encounter once a year.

The phrase we use when a storm is approaching may be good to remember this Thanksgiving – "prepare for the worst and hope for the best!"

Happy Thanksgiving!!!
 (0) Comments


 

Scoot: Thanksgiving - a bipartisan holiday

Every day of the year we are reminded how divided America has become. We are divided along political, religious, racial, sexual orientation and gender lines and from there - we are further divided into countless subgroups. The sad truth is that we are hard pressed to justify calling ourselves the United States of America.

Thanksgiving should be appreciated as a bipartisan holiday. The origin of Thanksgiving is not based on politics or religion. Thanksgiving should remind us to when come together as Americans and like the early settlers, celebrate what we have in common – not our differences.

Actual documents may not provide solid proof of specific details of the first Thanksgiving, but notes passed along throughout history do describe the first Thanksgiving. In 1621, the new settlers from England and Native Americans came together to give thanks for the first harvest in the New World. That first Thanksgiving was celebrated by about 90 Native Americans and 53 Pilgrims. It is believed that Native Americans helped the new settlers survive in the New World and the settlers were grateful. For that – they joined together and gave thanks.

Pilgrims and Native Americans were two totally different groups with different customs, appearances and lifestyles. If those two groups could come together to give thanks – then I would think conservatives and liberals, whites and blacks, Christians and Jews, male and female and straight and gay can all come together on this Thanksgiving with the same spirit of unity.

Daily we are reminded through the media all that separates us and it is the mirror accentuation of our differences that attracts the attention for the media. It might not be sensational and it might not generate a lot of buzz on the airwaves and on the cable news channels - but it is important for us to step back from the divisive debates that separate us and take a moment to appreciate all we do have in common. We may see different paths to our goals of happiness, but we all essentially share the same goals in life.

Even if it is for just one day – Thanksgiving Day – let us come together as families, friends and strangers - and as a nation for the simple purpose of giving thanks. And when we focus on what we are all thankful for – we focus more on what we share than on our differences.

It is a human flaw to always think about what we don't have in life, but it is an important human quality to appreciate all we have been blessed with. Look not at those who have more – look at how much you do have – even if it's less than others.

Happy Thanksgiving!

P.S. If we do come together this Thanksgiving like the Pilgrims and Native Americans did in 1621 – let's hope and pray in the years to follow that we treat each other with a little more respect than they did!

Photo via Mike Licht, NotionsCaptial.com
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Topics : Religion_Belief
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Scoot: The definition of "a real man" in the NFL

With the rash of recent negative images of NFL players who hit women or beat children – it was heartwarming to see an NFL player act like a "real man" Sunday afternoon.

T.Y. Hilton – receiver for the Indianapolis Colts – played in the game Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars after spending time in the hospital with his wife Shantell as she gave birth to their daughter only hours before the game. In fact, T.Y. Hilton was expected to miss the game.

Reportedly, with no sleep and missing the team's pregame warm-ups, Hilton played a great game and caught a 73-yard touchdown pass in the 3rd quarter to extend the Colts' lead over the Jaguars 20 – 3. But what Hilton did to celebrate in the end zone was his greatest moment!

After scoring the touchdown – T.Y. Hilton cradled the football like a baby as he stroked it gently. What a touching moment and a refreshing image of an NFL player starkly contrasting the recent publicity surrounding the violent behavior of a number of players in their private lives off the field.

And celebrating his daughter's birth in the end zone was something Hilton was apparently thinking about throughout the game. "I was holding her and just walking at about 11:15 [a.m.] then I said, 'Baby you want the game ball or touchdown ball?' That was my goal, to get both of those for her." Hilton revealed.

During a post-game interview on camera – Hilton became very emotional and actually broke down while talking about the importance of scoring a touchdown for his new daughter, Eugenia. When the network sports anchors come on after the interview – they applauded his willingness to show emotion.

NFL players, like Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson, have dominated headlines with acts of violence against a fiancée and a 4-year-old boy. How wonderful it was to see an NFL player show signs of being a "real man."

It doesn't take a "real man" to respond to the macho instincts of strength and power over others who are weaker or vulnerable. It does take strength and bravery for a man to expose his vulnerable side – especially while still standing on the field where men are expected to be macho and tough.

The men, women and children who follow the NFL witnessed a player showing what it means to be a "real man."

When T.Y. Hilton cradled and gently stroked the football in honor of his newly born daughter and when he allowed his emotions over her birth to define his presence – T.Y. Hilton gave us the definition of a "real man!" And at the young age of 25 – T.Y. Hilton is more of a man than many of his older peers.
 (2) Comments
Tags :  
Topics : Sports
Social :
People : Adrian PetersonEugeniaRay RiceShantell




 

Scoot: Final thoughts on ball-snatching Saints fan

There are usually several reasons a seemingly local, isolated incident that has no direct impact on the masses attracts the attention of them anyway. The Saints fan that stole a football intended for a Cincinnati Bengals fan Sunday in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome has gone viral and attracted the attention of the national media. The story is everywhere and people continue to talk about it! The story may be coming close to eclipsing the attention Kim Kardashian's bare butt has attracted on social media!

The Saints were embarrassed when Bengals' QB Andy Dalton threw a pass the TE Jermaine Gresham. After the eventual touchdown – Gresham spotted a Bengals fan in the stands and ran over to hand her the ball he just scored a touchdown with. Saints fan Tony Williams positioned himself to literally grab the ball away from Christa Barrett, who pleaded with him to give her the ball that was unmistakably intended for her – Williams seemed to proudly refuse her request. So, after the Saints were embarrassed before a TV audience – Saints fans and the city of New Orleans were embarrassed by the actions of a Saints fan.

This incident teaches us how wrong it is to judge a group by the behavior of an individual or a small group. The overwhelming response from the WHO DAT Nation is that Tony Williams was wrong to keep the ball and do not want to be judged by his behavior. That principle should also be applied to every group that is stereotyped by the extreme behavior of a member of that group.

The fact that Mr. Williams aggressively grabbed that ball leaves little doubt that was his instinctive behavior and many believe the idea of stealing it for his grandson was an afterthought to cover up his decision. He also seemed to maintain a smirk-like smile on his face as he refused the opportunity to respond to compassion.

If the man was stealing food to feed his starving grandson, his selfish instinct might be more understandable – but to grab a football that was clearly intended for another person is wrong.

Mr. Williams says that he loves New Orleans and was not trying to make the city look bad. Well, he failed at that attempt! His wife said that it's a free for all – something like Mardi Gras. Does that mean Mr. Williams would rip the beads or another throw from the hands of a woman or child near him?

I grew up going to Mardi Gras and I have always seen people catch throws about the same time as another person and then give it to them – especially children. Excusing that it's like Mardi Gras is no justification for grabbing something intended for someone else.

Finally, with all of the publicity surrounding this particular football and the manner in which it was obtained – do you think Mr. Williams' grandson will appreciate have the football? And if Mr. Williams is 70 – then his grandson is probably old enough to know exactly how his grandfather obtained the football.

Tony Williams has been described as a long-time season ticket holder – a loving and caring husband, father and grandfather. He may be all of those things – but he still stole a football from someone because he had the strength and opportunity to do it.

Let's apply Mr. Williams' mentality to Mr. Williams – should we assume that if Mr. Williams was walking out of the dome that afternoon with the football and someone else had the strength and opportunity to just grab it out of his hands – would he say "that's not fair!

We all want the Saints – not Saints fans – to be responsible for takeaways during a game!
 (0) Comments
Tags :  
Topics : Sports
Locations : New Orleans
People : Andy DaltonChrista BarrettKim KardashianTony Williams




 

Scoot: Russian bombers over the Gulf of Mexico

This is perfect weather for talking about the start of a new Cold War!

With the news that Russian bombers will begin flying scheduled flights over areas like the Gulf of Mexico, comes the fear that the recent political and military tensions between Russia – the old Soviet Union – and the United States are escalating into a new Cold War.

The Cold War was a period of time that refers to the heightened threat of war between the major powers of the United States and the Soviet Union. Though the dates of the Cold War as not definitive, it is generally accepted that it began a few years after the end of World War II and continued until 1991.

President Ronald Reagan was an instrumental figure at the end of the Cold War. Reagan used military force and diplomacy to pressure the Soviet Union – the center of the communist universe. The iconic moment when President Reagan told the leader of the Soviet Union to "tear down" the Berlin Wall that separated the West from the East is considered a flashpoint in time the proclaimed the end of communism.

Tensions between Russia and Leader Putin and the United States and President Obama have continued to intensify. The disputes that have erupted over Putin's aggressiveness with Crimea and the Ukraine have further chilled the relationship between the two super powers that still hold vast amounts of nuclear weapons.

The thought of those Cold War-ear Russian-built bombers patrolling our back yard is a sobering image to anyone who grew up when the threat of nuclear war was a reality to Americans. Schools held drills to let teachers and students know what to do if there was a nuclear attack from Russia. Some of the drills instructed students to get under their school desks in the classroom if a nuclear bomb was dropped. Looking back on that – it is ridiculous to think hiding under your desk would somehow protect you from the blast of a nuclear bomb!

Russian leader Vladimir Putin has projected an aggressive attitude to the world in an obvious attempt to build Russia up as a dominant world power. I assume Russia still has the nuclear weapons that were used to threaten the United States during the Cold War – but Russia is economically weak right now and not the military power of the past.

While the idea of Russian bombers patrolling the Gulf is unsettling - I think it is more a show of force than it is an actual threat, or a spark, that ignites a new Cold War.

Since the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico are international waters – there is nothing the United States can do to stop the Russian bombers from patrolling the Gulf. In fact, the United States has patrolled the international air space and the international waters near Russian for decades. We are in no position to stop the Russian bombers. I am certain the United States has plans to have our jets monitor these bombers near our borders from a non-threatening distance, but Russia is not violating our airspace, therefore, we can be vigilant, but not aggressive.

President Reagan brilliantly used diplomacy, but also a non-compromising attitude with our military to challenge the Soviet Union's encroaching threats. Many have criticized President Obama as being weak and tentative with our military that leaders, like Putin, are brazen enough to challenge the U.S.

Tensions will likely continue to escalate between Russia and the United States, but I do not envision tensions growing to the point where Americans live with the threat of nuclear war every day. However, "cold" any new Cold War gets – I still have faith that neither country wants a nuclear war.

One of the most difficult things about trying to negotiate with today's terrorists is the idea that many are martyrs and willing to die. The one common ground we shared with the Russians throughout the Cold War was the fact that both cultures respected life and had a desire to live.


While the Cold War was still intense – Sting wrote a song titled, "Russians," that perfectly reflected this shared common ground. Here is the final verse of the lyrics:

We share the same biology
Regardless of ideology
What might save us, me, and you
Is if the Russians love their children, too.


Let's hope that is still true today.
 (0) Comments
Tags :  
Topics : PoliticsWar_Conflict
Social :
Locations : BerlinGulf Of Mexico
People : ObamaRonald ReaganVladimir Putin




 

Scoot: Americans keep voting for a Congress they hate

Why do Americans overwhelmingly disapprove of Congress when Americans voted for those who make up Congress?

A tweet that is getting a lot of attention shows a picture of Congress in session with the words – Congress has an 11% approval rating – but 96% of the incumbents won reelection. Is this true – or just social media hype?

Politifact investigated the outcome of the recent midterm election and here's what was revealed:

· The average of the approval rating for Congress in polls from Fox, CBS, NBC, ABC and CNN was 14%.

· In the House – there were 390 incumbents with 4 races yet to be decided. Of the remaining 386 incumbents – 373 won. The means 96.6% of the incumbents were reelected.

· In the Senate – with two races still undecided at the time of the fact-finding study – 23 out of the 26 incumbents won reelection. That means 95.4% of incumbents won.

The tweet says that Congress has an 11% approval rating – according to Politifact – Congress' average approval rating in media polls is 14%! That's close.

The tweet also says that 96.4% of incumbents won reelection – in reality, 95% of incumbents won.

Politifact reports that this tweet that some may question is actually very accurate. But why do voters disapprove of Congress, but still support their representatives by continuing to reelect them?

Since incumbents represent the power and the clout to bring projects to their respective states and districts – voters will bash Congress as a group – but they are not willing to oust their elected official because of the money they represent for their state or district.

Voters are obviously selfish and politically myopic. As a group – voters refuse to look at the big picture and instead vote essentially for themselves. If that is the mentality of the great majority of voters in America – then it is no surprise that contempt for Congress stops with your congressman or senator.

The selfish nature of voters is one of the reasons this country is in financial disarray. When each voter reelects an incumbent – they are voting for projects that benefit their state or district and the many businesses and individuals that will be awarded huge government contracts. The ripple effect of that across the nation means "pet projects" going to every state and every district as a mostly subtle political payback for an incumbent's reelection.

"Pork" is only unhealthy for the diet of every other state and district – not yours – but the cumulative effect is too much "pork" everywhere and a federal government that is broke.

And the only ones to blame for this political phenomenon are the voters themselves.
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Scoot: When sports fans go too far

The Green Bay Packers beat the Chicago Bears on Sunday Night Football – 55-14. The Packers and the Bears are one of the oldest and deepest rivalries in the NFL – not only because both teams are among the earliest NFL teams – but also because the two cities are about a 3 ½ hour drive and a 40 minute flight from each other. It's a rivalry that is as bitter as the cold weather both teams play in.

The Bears were embarrassed by the Packers Sunday night and that inspired some Bears fans to take to social media attack Bears Coach Marc Trestman's daughter, Kristin Cavallari.

Tweets to the coach's daughter ranged from threatening to rape her to calling her father a fa***t. One text to Kristen read – "your tranny looking dad is a disgrace to American football."

Here are a few other tweets from irate Bears' fans:

· "your dads a fa***t"
· "don't let me catch you walking alone"
· "I would rape the s**t out of her"
· "I'm going to roll around in and drink her f***ing blood:
· "your dad's the reason a bunch of inbred Packers fans are gonna bang and make more inbreds"

I understand passion for a sports team – but I will never understand when passion turns into personal derogatory attacks and threats of horrific acts – like, rape.

The entire community of sports fans in America should condemn any sports fan that reduces their anger and frustration over their team's embarrassing lose to a heated rival. This behavior is more than unacceptable – it is morally despicable.

The fact that some Bears fans chose to express their anger against Coach Trestman's daughter further demonstrates the abhorrent nature of this attitude.

When something like this happens – it is important to step back and put sports into perspective. It's just a game. It is not as if these individuals are reacting to a direct threat to their families. And those who tweeted the derogatory comments and threats of rape to Trestman's daughter and pure cowards. I guess with her Twitter account she was an easy and available target. Attacking her may also have been motivated by the idea that she would be very sensitive and vulnerable to the remarks. Coaches deal with criticism from fans on a regular basis – but not their daughters.

Let's remember that the Bears fans that reacted to the humiliating loss to the Packers Sunday night by criticizing the coach to his daughter and by threatening bodily harm to her – do not represent the great majority of sports fans in America.

As heated as the rivalry is between the Saints and the Falcons – there would be no tolerance for attacking Falcons Coach Mike Smith's family following a degrading loss to the Falcons.

We can all be passionate about sports – but to resort of personal attacks and the threat of rape is simply unacceptable.
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Tags :  
Topics : Sports
Social :
People : Kristin CavallariMarc TrestmanMike Smith




 

Scoot: Why the Saints will beat the 49ers

The Saints will beat the 49ers Sunday in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Sunday because they are playing with the passion and determination that was missing early in the season.

The Saints followed a big win over the Packers in a nationally televised Sunday night game at home and a few days later – went on the road to beat the Panthers in a nationally televised Thursday night game. As fans, we may never know what happened to the collective resolve of the Saints – but they are now playing like a different team.

The Saints are running the ball, passing and the defense has shown signs of being the defense they told us they were going to be before the season started. The Saints have dealt with the unexpected setbacks of injuries and players that did not live up to expectations – but the one thing that was missing in the beginning of the season – even in the wins against the Vikings and the Bucs – was that intangible element of passion - or a "killer instinct."

The post-game explanations for the early performances seemed passive and almost as if the Saints were too complacent with their subpar performances. But that has changed!

Payton is showing a passion and determination before, during and after games that was absent. When asked this week about playing the 4-4 49ers who are desperate for a win Sunday – Payton said the Saints are 4-4 and also and desperate for a win. I loved to hear Drew Brees say this week that the Saints are not entitled to win just because they are playing in the dome.

Maybe it was the adversity of injuries to key players and maybe it was the wholesale disappointment of the fans and the media that rekindled a new attitude and winning spirit that had been missing. I'm sure the Saints and Coach Payton will say that nothing has changed – but clearly – we are watching the rebirth of the Saints half way through this season.

The story line for this season began to be rewritten that Sunday night the Saints convincingly beat a Green Bay Packers team that was peaking and the new story line continued after the Saints beat the Carolina Panthers on the road. I expect the story line of the Saints playing with great passion after beginning the season with a slow start will become even more thrilling when the Saints defeat the 49ers Sunday in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome!

Before the Saints – Packers game – I posted a prayer for the Saints. I posted and read it on the air again before the game against the Panthers. I do believe in the power of prayer – so I am including that Saints prayer with this blog.

Please say it and share it with the WHO DAT NATION everywhere!

Our Saints Prayer
By Scoot (but inspired from above)

Our Saints who art in Heaven,
Hallowed it be thy game.
Thy kick-off come,
Thy win be done,
On turf as it is in the dome.
Give us this win, our weekly win,
And forgive us our incomplete passes,
As we forgive those who complete passes against us.
And lead us not into defeat,
But deliver us to the top of the NFC South!
Amen!


Go Saints!!!
 (0) Comments
Tags :  
Topics : Religion_BeliefSports
Social :
People : Drew BreesPayton




 

Scoot: What Republican victories say about America

The domination of Republican candidates yesterday on Election Day reflects a changing America – but it might not be changing in the way many will suggest. The election results also reflect America's intrinsic desire for a "balance of power" and confirm the political cycles that define American politics.

For those who thought the Republican takeover of Congress during the mid-term elections in 1994 – two years into Bill Clinton's first term – was a statement that America was set on a conservative course for eternity –also witnessed Bill Clinton's re-election two years later.

The election and re-election of George W. Bush were interpreted by many -as another sign that America was making a statement with a strong turn to the right. The election of Barack Obama in 2008 and his re-election in 2012 were hailed as America's discontent with conservative politics.

Today, two years into President Obama's second term, America has again spoken. But what, exactly, is America saying?

A brief view of recent history proves that American politics runs in cycles. A strong turn to the "right" inevitably leads to a turn to the "left" and vice versa. When one party appears to have had time to manifest change and that change is never realized – then it is time for the other party to dominate.

Also, Democrats, Republicans and Independents are disgusted with gridlock in government and Americans have made a clear statement that a shake up in the ruling party is necessary to bring about change.

There is no question that the Republicans' new control over both Houses of Congress is an expression of discontent with President Obama. The President has not been a good communicator and has often appeared to be out-of-touch with the American people. Perception is reality and whether fair or not – the perception is that President Obama makes playing golf and vacationing a priority. A Fox News contributor said this morning that President Obama is so upset by the outcome of the election that he's only going to play 9 holes today!
The Republican candidates, including Bill Cassidy in Louisiana, ran against the President's policies and used his low approval rating to their advantage. While Republicans have been criticized for running more on what they are against than what they are for – running against President Obama forced the Republican candidates, in general, to not focus on social and moral issues, like same-sex marriage, birth control and abortion.

The most significant lesson to be learned from the 2014 mid-term election is that Republicans did not run on the platform of intrusion into the lives of individual Americans by proclaiming to be the moral police of politics. I have often talked about the political damage caused by Republican candidates investing their primary messages on social and moral issues – which implies a political directive on the personal decisions of individuals. Now, Republican domination at the polls during a campaign in which Republicans, generally, did not invoke issues that have destroyed their chances in recent elections – further demonstrates the need for Republicans to change their game plan of showcasing social and moral issues.

The Republican victories should be celebrated – but they should also be studied as a blueprint for the Republican presidential candidates in 2016. It is also important to understand that more young and minority voters will show up to vote in a presidential election than in a mid-term election, so while the Republican victories should not be downplayed – a more diverse group of voters will cast their votes in 2016.

When House Speaker Newt Gingrich led the republican take-over of Capitol Hill in 1994 – he acted like the Republicans had just gotten the keys to the candy store and that attitude did not resonate with America.

Advice to Republicans: accept the amazing victories with dignity and now that you are in control – get to work and make America a better country. But most of all - pay attention to what happens if you don't campaign as the moral police of America!
 (5) Comments
Tags :  
Topics : Politics
Social :
Locations : Louisiana
People : Barack ObamaBill CassidyBill ClintonGeorge W. BushNewt Gingrich




 

Scoot: Does voting define patriotism?

It's Election Day in America! The right to vote in free and open elections is part of our political system. People around the world are envious of our system of government and the right of citizens to actively participate – and yet, millions of Americans are not registered to vote and millions who are registered – do not exercise a right to be part of our political process.

Obviously, there are legitimate excuses to not go to the polls on Election Day, but any excuses related to inconvenience or apathy should not be considered acceptable.

Several of the common excuses for not voting might appear to be founded in sound reason. Some don't vote because they don't like any of the candidates on the ballot. Others say they are disgusted with the system and believe the outcome of any election will not lead to change – therefore, voting is a waste of time.

In any election, it is likely that no candidate represents the political ideology of all of the voters. It is also realistic to believe that new candidates or incumbents are part of a well-established political system that benefits more those who are elected than those who elect the politicians who represent them. Disgust and apathy are understandable – but not acceptable reasons to not vote on Election Day.

As a talk show host, I hear listeners exercising their right to free speech by bashing candidates, political parties and the political system and I often wonder how many of those who are so eager and willing to complain actually make the effort to vote.

Americans do have the right to complain even if they don't vote – but doesn't voting turn a complainer who is an outsider into a participant with a voice?

Relative to the world – Americans have been blessed with so many right, but when rights are given to you without a fight or effort – rights are too often taken for grant it. And of all the rights taken for grant it in America – the right to vote is among the rights most unappreciated.

The real question is – can you be considered a true patriotic American if you don't vote? If voting is an opportunity participate in the political process – shouldn't voting be an integral characteristic of patriotism?

It is easier to wear an American flag pin on a lapel, wave an American flag, sing the Star Spangled Banner at a Saints or LSU game, or shout out in a group that you "love America" – but those signs of outward patriotism do not compare to voting – which is making an effort to place yourself inside the political process.

I think anyone who does not vote – not on occasion – but as a rule does not vote based on principle – falls short of being a true patriotic American.

The definition of being a patriotic American is to show love and loyalty to America and of all the signs and activities that lead to calling oneself patriotic – voting stands alone as the most important civic action citizens can take part in to win the right to call themselves "patriotic."

So – are you voting? Or - just complaining?

And can you really call yourself a true patriot if you don't vote?
 (2) Comments
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Topics : Politics




 
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