Now that the election is less than a month away, things are getting intense. Videos of celebrities telling you to vote are popping up everywhere and the debates are creating more memes for either side to attack each other with. Within the chaos, a ray of rationality has shown through. Mike Rowe made an excellent comment about the election and what everybody should be doing; reading.
After receiving a fan request to ask citizens to vote, Rowe replied:
I can’t personally encourage everyone in the country to run out and vote. I wouldn’t do it, even if I thought it would benefit my personal choice. Because the truth is, the country doesn’t need voters who have to be cajoled, enticed, or persuaded to cast a ballot. We need voters who wish to participate in the process. So if you really want me to say something political, how about this – read more.
Rowe touches on a truth that nobody talks about: very few people actually know the philosophical underpinnings of their political views. We throw around words like communism, capitalism, and socialism without fully understanding each view and their consequences. Rowe went on to say:
Spend a few hours every week studying American history, human nature, and economic theory. Start with “Economics in One Lesson.” Then try Keynes. Then Hayek. Then Marx. Then Hegel. Develop a worldview that you can articulate as well as defend. Test your theory with people who disagree with you. Debate. Argue. Adjust your philosophy as necessary. Then, when the next election comes around, cast a vote for the candidate whose worldview seems most in line with your own.
Most of us have fully invested in our political views. But that does not mean we should avoid learning more about them. In fact, the more sure we think we are the less we probably know. And when we argue from a place of anger, the conversation goes nowhere. Instead, it turns into a vicious game of mud slinging. We can all use the advice Rowe has given us, let’s make his idea a reality.
To read Rowe’s full response you can see it here.
Featured image courtesy of The Seattle Times