For as long as I can remember, people have been cajoled, harangued and even bullied, into voting. They’ve been reminded incessantly that their ancestors fought and died so that they would have the right to choose their leaders. It’s been pointed out to them that even today there are hundreds of millions of people to whom universal suffrage is nothing more than a fantasy.
All of which is true, but so what?
The beauty of our system isn’t that we have the right to vote. After all, Russians got to vote for Joseph Stalin and Iraqis got to vote for Saddam Hussein. No, the nice thing is that people who are too dumb or lazy or uninformed to bother casting a ballot aren’t compelled to vote. And no apologies are required. In fact, in my opinion, thanks are in order. Far too many people are voting, as it is.
So why on earth would you urge citizens who have done their level best to avoid thinking about the issues or the candidates to suddenly roll off the couch on election day and do their civic duty?
Before the last election, some busybody suggested that, as an incentive to stir up the electorate, there should be a special lottery open to anyone who bothered to vote. I have no problem with the idea of a lottery, but, frankly, I think it should be limited to those people who, by remaining steadfast in the face of relentless peer and media pressure, did the honorable thing…and stayed home!
I wholeheartedly agree. Too many people vote just because. That is all you here for months before elections. Get out and vote. BS! If you don't know where each candidate stands on the issues, stay home.
I have talked with many people who don't know what each party stands for. A few months ago I was talking with a guy that actually said "If the damn republicans would quit raising taxes...". On another occasion, a girl I know told me that "Bush needs to let the democrats build the fence down on our border ...". While it is true that Bush does not want a fence, he is not stopping the democrats.
Don't worry, I asked each of them if they vote. They both told me they did not vote. I could have urged them to vote, or at least pay closer attention. What I did was say "good", and left it at that.
So I have to say this. If you do not somewhat keep up with the presidential race keep your butt at home.