John Oliver on America’s invisible election

John Oliver pointed out in this broadcast how state legislatures pass the most of the laws that affect Americans on a day-to-day basis, and yet Americans know little about their operation.

I admit this is true of me.  I know much less about the records of New York State Senator Ted O’Brien and Assemblyman Harry D. Bronson than I do U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and Representative Louise Slaughter and, I admit, less about any of them that I do about President Obama.

A voter has to be pro-active to learn these things.  You have to do more than read your local newspaper or watch your local TV newscast.

The state legislatures also help determine the outcomes of national elections.  They draw the boundaries of congressional districts, which often are incredibly skewed in order to produce a pre-determined result.  And they write the laws about election procedures and voting eligibility, which also are skewed to produce a certain result.

I’ve written posts about the bad choices that American voters face, and the futility of always settling for the lesser evil.  That doesn’t mean that voting is unimportant.  I just say that voting should be based on positive reasons, not negative reasons, and not limited to Democrats and Republicans.   When I wrote that passive voting alone will not change American politics, I meant that it is only a first step, not a last step, not that it is meaningless.

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