I was never overly interested in modern politics until I reached my 50s. By, then though, my vote had been wasted for decades, casually cast without any real understanding of whether or not it really counted. Once I became interested in the subject, though, I understood Emma Goldman’s statement:
If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.
In Played: How The U.S. Political System Controls & Steals Your Vote, I look at the American Political scene as a laymen — someone who thought he understood the rules — but found out he did not. The current political landscape is not designed for you or me — the vote is orchestrated through carefully crafted messages and images. As I write in Played,
Turn on any cable or network program and watch as the political conversation descends into a yelling match. Guests with conflicting interests, agendas and viewpoints loudly argue over political points while the moderator struggles to police the debacle.
And, the same message is repeated over and over – each Party with its own slant – telling us this is the election that really, really matters.
But is this the most important election in America’s history?
Beyond, that though, American politics is a game of keeping the masses agitated while those profiting from the dysfunction keep steering the ship. Played is divided into three sections. In the first section, I look at how our personnel viewpoints and traits are used against us. In the second section I examine the various techniques both parties use to control the outcome. These tactics include:
- Exploiting the Low Information Voter
- Using Wedge Issues to Define Real Americans
- Marketing a Message
- Touting Local Control
In the final section, I examine six issues that negatively impact our vote. These are:
- Our Ability to Decide Who Runs For President
- Why Low Voter Turnout Hurts Everyone
- The 200-year-old Blight of Gerrymandering
- Using Voter Suppression Laws to Rig The Vote
- Why Your Local Primary Is All That Matters
- How Some Citizens Are Just More Important Than You
The book is a result of more than two years of reading, researching and becoming a short-term political news junkie. As my knowledge grew over the 24 months, the realization that my vote had been nullified in many ways was a bitter pill to swallow. Although I still believe in our system, I know it’s time to reexamine the laws that stripped away the ‘people’s voice.’
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