Thoughts on Not Voting

3 11 2008

How many times do you hear this when it comes to an election of any kind “I didn’t vote”, “I couldn’t decide who to vote for so I just didn’t”, “I don’t really like either candidate so I just won’t vote”, “My one vote doesn’t really matter so why bother”, “I didn’t have time to vote”, or “I’ve done time in federal prison and am not allowed to vote so I didn’t”? OK, well except for the last one is where we have a problem (if you’ve done federal time I’m sorry but that is just how that goes…its kind of like “having an open can of Pabst”). Why do we feel that is alright to not vote? I’ve never understood this concept. In my mind its not even about the idea that “if you don’t vote you don’t deserve to complain”. I mean everyone complains that’s what Americans do. To me, not voting says you don’t care. 

Similar to not voting is the current crop of undecided voters. I am not sure at this point what there is to be undecided about. We’ve learned about all we can learn about the four candidates. They have gone on news shows, interviews, comedy shows, and so on. We’ve read magazines, newspapers, blogs, and more (probably more than we should sometimes). And still we have people who are undecided. On Meet the Press this morning they showed a segment of an article by Kathleen Parker of the Washington Post entitled “The Final Hours”. The following part really gave voice to the thoughts I’ve been having lately:

“So what are these zombies of the voting booth really waiting for? Something they won’t find: the perfect choice. It doesn’t exist. The clear path is dappled with doubt. The telling clue is buried in the hearts of Col. Mustard, who worries about Iraq and taxes under Obama, and Miss Scarlet, who can’t get past McCain’s age and the winking wonderwoman of Wasilla.”

There is not a perfect choice. We don’t get to vote for Jesus, Abraham Lincoln, or Ronald Reagan. We have to look at both of the candidates and make a choice. It isn’t easy but neither is running a country. Voting is important, if people didn’t think so they wouldn’t have spent time fighting for the rights of women and minorities to have that right. I’m starting to wander and I’ve lost focus, but I will end by saying I hope that those of you who don’t plan on voting will seriously reconsider that. I leave you with words from Congressman Matthew Santos (West Wing…Duh!).

“We all live lives of imperfection and yet we cling to this fantasy that there’s this perfect life and that our leaders should embody it. But if we expect our leaders to live on some higher moral plain than the rest of us, well we’re just asking to be deceived. Now it’s been suggested to me this week that I should try to buy your support with jobs, and the promise of access. It’s been suggested to me that party unity is more important than your democratic rights as delegates. That’s right it’s not. And you have a decision to make. Don’t vote for us because you think we’re perfect. Don’t vote for us because of what we might be able to do for you only. Vote for the person who shares your ideals, your hopes, your dreams. Vote for the person who most embodies what you believe we need to keep our nation strong and free.”

**PS I totally realize that this post is lacking in substantive thought or persuasive points…Just goes to show that sometimes thoughts are better in your head**

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One response

3 11 2008
jason

Good post ….Obama/Biden 2008

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