Fourteen years ago I was sitting in a college English class when the instructor decided to make a stink out of the fact that she was the only person in the room who had yet voted. I, not yet of age, was immune to the pressure of her eloquence and perhaps because of that took thought to the reasoning behind it. That thought catalyzed an attitude within me that has not changed since that fateful morning fourteen years ago. Such stability is noteworthy in its own right, and the attitude itself has been much on my mind of late.
I basically believe in the goodness of humanity, and as such I would like to live in a country where every citizen participated in government. One evidence that I do not live in such a land is low voter turnouts. In that sense, and I think only in that sense, I agree with my teacher of old. But basically I say to her and to every “get out the vote” proponent of every political persuasion and personal motivation out there, Stop It.
Really, stop it.
As I looked around that classroom fourteen years ago I realized that few if any had any real idea what the issues really were. If you gave them a poll they’d fill it out based on nonsense, like which “team” their folks rooted for or whose signs they’d seen on the road most recently or who had the nicest name or face. I was sitting in a room of people who had abdicated their duty to understand politics. The last thing I wanted them to do was mob the polls uninformed. Rights had responsibilities associated with them.
Wondering for whom to vote? Simple solution: don’t vote. Not the best solution, but a good lazy-man solution anyway.
If you can’t stomach the idea of not voting, I think you have two valid options. You can either study the issues until you do know for whom to vote, or you can mirroring the ballot of someone you have sound reason to trust and thus forming an implicit representative democracy. But whatever you do don’t vote for something because of socio-ethnic background or funny TV ads or how nice the person who knocked on your door and asked you to was or because you dislike the other candidate’s hair or any of the myriad other idiocies that “studies show” sway the vote.
So to you, my dear reader, I make two pleas. First, only vote on issues and races you understand enough to vote about intelligently. Second, join me in asking people not to vote. The people who really should be voting won’t listen to you anyway.
Let us join together in doing our part to fix our government. Weaken the demagogues! Fie on clandestine oligarchy! Reduce the impact of money on politics! Stop a “get out the vote” rally today!
Keep in the vote!