IBJOpinion

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • 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

COMMENTS POLICY
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
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. The east side does have potential...and I have always thought Washington Scare should become an outlet mall. Anyone remember how popular Eastgate was? Well, Indy has no outlet malls, we have to go to Edinburgh for the deep discounts and I don't understand why. Jim is right. We need a few good eastsiders interested in actually making some noise and trying to change the commerce, culture and stereotypes of the East side. Irvington is very progressive and making great strides, why can't the far east side ride on their coat tails to make some changes?

  2. Boston.com has an article from 2010 where they talk about how Interactions moved to Massachusetts in the year prior. http://www.boston.com/business/technology/innoeco/2010/07/interactions_banks_63_million.html The article includes a link back to that Inside Indiana Business press release I linked to earlier, snarkily noting, "Guess this 2006 plan to create 200-plus new jobs in Indiana didn't exactly work out."

  3. I live on the east side and I have read all your comments. a local paper just did an article on Washington square mall with just as many comments and concerns. I am not sure if they are still around, but there was an east side coalition with good intentions to do good things on the east side. And there is a facebook post that called my eastside indy with many old members of the eastside who voice concerns about the east side of the city. We need to come together and not just complain and moan, but come up with actual concrete solutions, because what Dal said is very very true- the eastside could be a goldmine in the right hands. But if anyone is going damn, and change things, it is us eastside residents

  4. Please go back re-read your economics text book and the fine print on the February 2014 CBO report. A minimum wage increase has never resulted in a net job loss...

  5. The GOP at the Statehouse is more interested in PR to keep their majority, than using it to get anything good actually done. The State continues its downward spiral.

ADVERTISEMENT