The most notable “Mardi Gras,” [French, for “Fat Tuesday,”] is the carnival or bacchanalia, in New Orleans, which is celebrated, perennially, after the Catholic feast of the Epiphany, on the first Tuesday before Lent. The colorful event, features virtually, unlimited indulgence in food, drink and wild behaviors. For the tourist, a most memorable feature, in addition to the gifted and spontaneous street musicians, and the Louisiana Cajun cuisine, is the magnificent annual parade, featuring colorful floats with exotically costumed, participants. We are informed that each of the traditional parade groups, marching and performing, are in replication of past generations of celebrants, called “krews,” each represented by its traditionally, signature float.
We have elected, (with profuse apologies) to, metaphorically, refer to the staging of American elections, [ Statutorily mandated, for the first Tuesday after the first Monday, in November], as, our own, “National Mardi Gras.” On this event, for the one day, citizens are exempt from their employment, for the sole purpose of choosing their governing leaders and representatives; such popular vote, inarguably, being the validating hallmark of a Republican Democracy. In fact, it is no less than a duty, for all citizens of voting age to cast their popular vote, which enables government to be universally representative, as opposed to favoring the interest of certain groups of citizens, over others. The applicability of chosen analogy, as between Election day and the New Orleans Mardi Gras, among others, can be discerned, in the fixed day of the relevant week, Tuesday, but, also, in its nuanced, and, in many cases, less than rational, participation, by many American voters.
We have eternally, made reference to the sage and prescient declaration of Thomas Jefferson, that, for a Democratic Republic to be successful, it is necessary to have an informed and literate citizenry. The observance of this declared standard, has eternally, been our concern, and, consequently, the salient subject of most of our, to date, nearly half-thousand mini-essays.
We, have expressed in past writings major concerns, regarding the quality of the mass vote, on subjects such as: (1) uninformed, low education voters, (2) one- issue voters, (3) lifestyle voters, (4) partisan voters, (5) personality voters as well as (6) tribal voters. Accordingly, it would seem sufficient, to merely, recognize these categories of non-objective, voting behavior:
- We were lulled into the happy delusion, with the election and re-election, of Barack Obama, that the Nation was on the upswing, in terms of well informed, Jeffersonian prescribed, citizens. Thereafter, the election of Donald J. Trump, due, in large part, to the voting of, low educated, “flat earth”, voters, [ tactically manipulated by profit- oriented industry] reinstated our serious concern about the nature and quality, of the contemporary American voter.
- It may be, that it is the one-issue voter, that has most skewed the result, and frustrated the fundamental purpose, of the franchise. Votes that are based solely, upon one, singular position, of the candidate [for example, Israel, guns or abortion rights], and, irresponsibly, ignore the balance of the candidate’s platform, distort the perception of the Nation’s will, [as to the balance of his platform] and may, conceivably, include policies, inimical to the interest of that voter.
- Loyalty based upon the religion, race, family, social position, marriage, physical appearance, or domicile, rather than an independent determination of the candidate’s positions on the current issues.
- Partisan loyalty. There are a great many voters, who automatically vote for a candidate of a particular party; perhaps the party of their parents, and without sufficient (or any) knowledge of the candidate’s platform, or political leanings.
- Perceived personality. There actually exist, voters, who favor candidates, based on their subjective perception of the characterological behavior, of the candidate. Voters who admire the behavior of Donald Trump, would likely, tend not to vote for a candidate emulating Fred Rogers.
- Tribal voters, are individuals who choose to surrender their self-determination and opinion, to that of a social group, and vote identically, with that group. We have expressed the view that this willing surrender of individuality, appears to be an inclination, whose apparent purpose, is the attempted satisfaction of a neurotic desire for acceptance.
The clear purpose of a democratic election, is to accurately and fairly, ascertain, a meaningful and relevant understanding, of the nation’s desired choices of determinative policy; a vote, polluted, with elements of ignorance or irrationality, is as useful, and trustworthy, in steering the Ship of State, as a giddy, intoxicated celebrant, at a New Orleans Mardi Gras.