Monday, November 3, 2008

GSA MONDAY'S BLOG THE VOTE! Ethics, Lawn Signs, and Machievelli's Theory Put To The Test: "Do The Ends Justify The Means?"

After having her Obama lawn sign stolen,
Lisa Nowak made a new one,
and was kind enough to let me share this picture of it!

I recently heard a talk by Michael Josephson of the Josephson Institute Center For Youth Ethics. He shared some shocking statistics about American High School students from a recent survey his organization did of over 29,000 9th-12th graders. Here's the one that I want to focus on:

Do you agree with the following statement:

"A person has to cheat sometimes to succeed."

33% of High School Girls agreed.
48% of High School Boys agreed.

Are you as surprised by that as I am? But maybe I shouldn't be so shocked.

I have been inundated with emails and phone calls from friends and acquaintances about ethical lapses and dilemmas over the last few weeks leading up to tomorrow's election.

Lawn signs stolen or vandalized (on both sides of the political spectrum) or, in one case that I'm not sure about it being true or not, electrified to shock the thief!

Old people who are not going to get assistance voting because the neighbor who might have gone out of their way to help them get to the polls knows that they're going to vote the "wrong" way.

Lies told about different issues up for vote - in California, the list of lies regarding Proposition 8 (it will change the State Constitution to eliminate the right to marry for same-gender couples) is nearing legend. The latest lie: A mailing to millions of Democrats telling them Obama supports Prop 8, which is not true - he's against the Proposition, though he is not a supporter of same-gender marriage.

Voters receiving automated calls telling them that their polling place has been moved at the last minute, and to NOT go to their regular voting location. (An acquaintance received the call and had just driven past his regular polling place where they were setting up as usual!)

I sometimes feel bad when my family mocks me for being a "noble noodle."

And it doesn't seem as if those in power lose a lot of sleep over their ethical lapses... but should they? Should we "liberals" play their game, to guarantee a win this time, when it seems so much is at stake? Can we live with ourselves if we do?

Would that make us as bad as them?

Or is politics not so black and white?

We all have to draw our own lines - and realize that where we draw them influences our kids and Teens - they see our lines - they see us pulling up that lawn sign because we don't agree with it, or commenting on how much we disagree with it and leaving it be...

As for me, I'm taking my daughter with me and my for-now-legal husband to the polls first thing Tuesday morning. And voting.

Voting is the lesson I hope she learns from all this. How important a responsibility it is. And how wondrous a right.

And this noble noodle is keeping my fingers crossed for Tuesday. I won't be joining the dark side, or Voldemort, anytime soon.

What do you think?

For a whole bunch of other good blog entries by kid and adult lit bloggers about why it's so important to VOTE on November 4th, check out the master list for BLOG the VOTE here!




Saints and Spinners said...

I have never before heard the phrase "Noble Noodle," but I think it works very well next to "Nerd Fighter." People who think the end justifies the means inevitably think twice about that when they become the broken eggs for those blasted omelettes.

Thanks for helping to organize the Blog the Vote event!

Anonymous said...


Know hope. Whether or not Prop 8 passes, we'll be moving heaven and earth to make sure that discrimination will never be California law (yes, it can still be struck down as a constitutional revision, not amendment).

And if Obama wins, we'll have the US Supreme Court on our side.

MotherReader said...

I was hoping for a little feel-good stuff. I don't like the meanie games of politics.

Must watch Yes We Can again.

Thanks for promoting the Blog the Vote event. My post today took longer to write than just about anything I've ever written before, but it was worth it.

Tonight, if all goes well, the whole family will attend the last rally in Nothern Virginia - or fake Virginia as we like to call it. ;^) Tomorrow we're done.

Anonymous said...

"Should we 'liberals' play their game, to guarantee a win this time, when it seems so much is at stake?"

No, no, no, no, no! I expect a segment of the conservative population to stoop to these tricks. After all, that's what the people leading them do. But I'm deeply embarrassed and ashamed when I hear of liberals resorting to such tactics. We're supposed to be the open-minded, open-hearted, free thinkers. We're supposed to be able to control our baser instincts and do what's right. The end cannot justify the means.

Okay, I know you weren't seriously suggesting it. I can't help ranting at the thought of it, though.

Andrea -- Just One More Book!! Podcast said...

I can't help thinking of Gob Bluth....

In other words, what Lisa said.

Unknown said...

Great post. I'm with you. I've been horrified at the misinformation and even outright lies being spread in this election.