MORRIS: Let's vote our way out of this mess

Greg Morris
May 5, 2012
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

MorrisOn May 8, the time for talk is over and it’s time to vote. I know many of us are thankful for this as we’re all tired of the constant barrage of negative ads. It’s been an especially brutal primary season.

Most people I talk with tell me they highly resent the tone in the Lugar/Mourdock race in particular. Add to that, there was so much money poured into the market for these two candidates, there was no way to escape unless you unplugged your television.

After all the negative campaigning, you may be disgusted with the process, but you can’t stick your head in the sand and not participate. There are many local, state and national offices at stake, along with important issues to decide. We can’t be so jaded and, frankly, sometimes downright depressed, about all the dysfunction and lack of agreement on anything in government that we fail to go to the polls and vote.

That’s my message. Please vote. I’m not suggesting whom you should cast your vote for. I’m just asking that you participate in the process. I want everyone to do their civic duty and vote. This is an important primary election. Sometimes primaries are pretty bland and nondescript. This is not one of those occasions.

In this week’s IBJ, you’ll find an advertisement encouraging voter turnout. The main message delivered is to “Speak Up—Vote” and the reader is directed to IndianaVoters.com to find their polling place. The ad offers an advance look at the soon-to-be-announced “Get Out the Vote” newspaper campaign made possible by the Hoosier State Press Association Foundation. The kickoff ad is one of several versions I hope you will see in most of the more-than-170 HSPA-member newspapers in the state leading up to the November election.

The ads developed in the coming months will be geared to the general election and contain more specific information for November. But, the message will be consistent: VOTE! As the newly elected president of the Hoosier State Press Association, I’ll be encouraging all our member newspapers to run these ads as often as possible leading up to the November election.

The effort ties in with the HSPA Foundation’s partnership with the Indiana Bar Foundation, along with other groups, on the Civic Health Index to measure Hoosiers’ commitment to civic engagement, political knowledge, community service—and understanding of the First Amendment. I’ve covered the poor showing by Indiana residents in civic engagement in previous columns. There’s a lot of work to be done to improve the percentage of participation in the voting process.

While I’m at it, I want to offer a thought about our tolerance of people whose opinions we don’t share. It seems that, far too often these days, if someone doesn’t agree with us, they become the enemy. It’s not just a difference of opinion to be discussed in a civil manner, it’s some sort of betrayal. Everything has become personal.

Remember when Ted Kennedy could rake Republicans over the coals in a blistering speech on the floor of the Senate, then put his arm around his political opponent and ask them to go have a beer later that evening? Unfortunately, those days appear to be gone. We’re heading for a day, and we may already be there, when the only way to get elected is to be an extremist on the right or the left with no tolerance for middle ground and compromise. To my point, it seems like Richard Mourdock has forced Sen. Richard Lugar to look like an extremist to combat attacks that he’s not conservative enough.

Any politician, like Lugar, who tries to work earnestly with both parties to accomplish a task appears to be in no man’s land today as far as electability is concerned. It’s very dangerous ground. The extremists on both sides seem to be getting all the attention. Everything I’m hearing is that if you think Washington is dysfunctional now, you haven’t seen anything yet. It’s only going to get worse.

So, everybody needs to be a part of a respectful discussion on how to get us out of this mess. The ultimate expression of your opinion is offered when you go to the polls and vote. Thanks for participating.•


Morris is publisher of IBJ. His column appears every other week. To comment on this column, send e-mail to gmorris@ibj.com.


  • Incentivize bipartisanship?
    The Bipartisanship Policy Center and the National Conference on Citizenship held a panel asking who took civility out of politics? You can watch the panel and join the discussion here: http://ncoc.net/bipartisanship
  • Primary Partisanship
    Primaries are the worst! They bring out partisanship. Would open primaries help the process? Would that get it beyond party politics?

Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Yes sir keep cashing those 300K a year checks direct to IMS, while millions disappear from the teams like Rahal's. Guess there wasn't enough ka- ching going around to keep Sarah Fisher in business without their "merger". LOL._____.Meanwhile back in Realville the series with the "best racing in the world" drew what appeared to be about 5000 live spectators ( and probably 1500 of those Target "freebies", and was beaten in the ratings by a series that reportedly consists of "parades" and aired while most people are still sleeping. That will generate those big ka-chings for sure. :-). But, hey, as long as the Speedway gets the cash who gives a damn about the teams?

  2. Welcome to PETERSON LOAN AGENCY Company (A Personalized Service for All Your Financial Needs) We, Liberal Investment Company Providers offers loan at a very low interest rate of 2%, we offer Personal loans, Debt Consolidation Loan, Venture Capital, Business Loan, Educational Loan, Home Loan, and Loan for any reason and urgent needs!. with a maximum duration of 30 years. Have you been turned down by your bank? Do you have bad credit? Do you have unpaid bills? Are you in debt? Do you need to set up a business? Worry no more as we are here to offer you a low interest loan. Our loan ranges from $5,000-USD (Five Thousand US dollars) to $50, 000,000.00.(Fifty Million US dollars). We also lend in USA DOLLARS EURO and POUNDS ! Fill in this form and forward it to our email: PETERSONLOANAGENCY@GMAIL.COM 1. Your Full names:_______ 2. Contact address:_______ 3. Country Of Residence:______ 4. Loan Amount Required:________ 5. Duration:_____ 6. Gender:_____ 7. Occupation:________ 8. Monthly Income:_______ 9. Date Of Birth:________ 10.Telephone Number:________ 11. Purpose of loan:_________ Yours In Service, MR PERRY, PETERSONLOANAGENCY@GMAIL.COM

  3. If I could actually get the prices...I would do this on my own. We need laws that force provides to publish the costs they will charge. Everyone else gives you the price in advance...except hospitals.

  4. I was under the impression that fencing is not allowed on a front yard and that on a corner, both sides are considered "front" yards, therefore can't be fenced without a variance. Also impedes the visibility for drivers at the intersection. Am I understanding this correctly? Might be why a fence was not included in the plans and a request for a variance will have to be made?.

  5. I was a big fan of Cowards and Carrots, which I got a chance to see at the show. It's currently on Kickstarter, but the designer also put out What's He Building in There last year, which got a fair amount of buzz.