No question about it: Most people are getting sick of the political ads. Your television set isn’t on for five minutes before you are bombarded with messages as to why you should vote for one person, and why his or her opponent is a danger to society.
On the national level, we hear about immigration and about the economy. Healthcare is a major topic of discussion, and so is our nation’s leadership. But you don’t hear any discussion about
-mass incarceration---2.2 million people behind bars, the highest percentage per capita in the world;
-wrongful convictions---staggering numbers that have Innocence Projects in every state struggling with serious backlogs; and
-the death penalty---only 20 states have abolished this shameful practice!
Here in Michigan, there’s a lot of political discussion on who’s toughest on crime, bad water, right to life, and fixing the roads. But you don’t hear any discussion about
-39,000 people occupying 30 prisons in Pure Michigan, a far higher percentage than that of any other Great Lakes state;
-serious overcrowding issues at Michigan’s only prison for women;
-how to make it easier for the wrongly convicted to collect money owed them by the state;
-why Prosecutors still oppose raising the age of juvenile court jurisdiction from 17 to 18 (Michigan is one of only four states left clinging to this archaic plan); or
-the slow progress in resentencing juveniles who were condemned to life without parole.
Do you know how your favorite candidate for Congress or for the US Senate feels about mass incarceration, wrongful convictions and the death penalty?
What about your choices for state public office. Where do they stand on these important issues? One would think they might have some opinions on a budget item that involves 14,000 state employees and costs taxpayers 5-million dollars a day! Yet we hear nothing.
Election Day is approaching, and it’s time to get out the measuring stick, time to look past the “hot-button” issues and dig into the less popular but very humanitarian matters. Know where your candidates stand on all issues.
Then, on November 6, follow this advice in Proverbs 31: Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed.