The left, the right, and the middle


Emanuel Negrete

The political spectrum is swarming with various politically charged words. Word Cloud by Emanuel Negrete and Alex Cervantes

America, the land of the free and the home of the complacent. This was made clear to me when I had the opportunity to work for a political campaign. The work consisted of calling registered voters in a certain part of California in order to get them to vote for a specific candidate. While the calls themselves often don’t produce the most stable of data, they give insight as to how people are currently feeling about the political spectrum and provide thoughtful insight. With that being said, it is disappointing to note that two out of three calls meant to gain said insight consisted of disdain and hatred rather than logically-thought criticism.

In order for a democracy to actually work, there needs to be a formal and efficient method to talk. What I learned from the campaign is that there is a huge disconnect between what goes on in minds of campaign managers. These campaigns, for better or worse, are being treated like phone scams. You cannot read the introductory line without people reacting with a hangup or some form of the phrase, “Leave me alone.”

There is this bad idea where people expect change to happen on its own. No one is actually happy with the political system, yet, no one wants to do anything about it. It’s frustrating to be on the receiving end of calls where they spout some. In one specific call, I had a voter go on and on about how no one ever listens to the real issues. However, when given the chance to actually state said problems, they got mad and said it should be the job of the politicians to know these things. The whole reason these campaigns really happen is to gather what issues are in the heart of the people.

Initially, I found the idea of working on an electoral campaign to be one full-on political enlightenment. For the first time, I was presented with an opportunity to see how people around the state handled politics. After the third day, I noticed an unfortunate pattern. People are very reluctant to give data for polls and would later complain that data shown in the media is fake.

Prevalent in the calls also was a really stubborn ideology. More often than not, most of the people who would allow themselves to be surveyed prefaced their responses with: “I only vote for this party.” When asked for their reasons, they typically reacted with shock as to how someone could be so immoral as to have an idea different from theirs.

It is clear to me through the experience that bandwagoning still has a dangerous prevalence in our political system. I find the idea horrifying that people would vote solely for a color and not because of the policies they stand for. It really shows the lack of critical thought in people, and while I wish I was just generalizing, I think a sample size of around 1000 calls for a specific district is concise.