Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Just an opinion.

It bothers me when Americans don't vote.

There are lots of reasons why, but nothing I could write would be better than how it was put in a comment over on Cleveland's A Plum.

Cubby wrote:

"The citizens of Iraq literally risked being shot or blown up to vote freely for the first time in their lives. The people of Zimbabwe that didn't support the current president were beaten or killed for trying to vote against him. Hundreds of millions of people around the world reside in countries that don't allow them the opportunity to speak for themselves. It's no wonder people around the world scoff at our apathy. Not voting may easily be the most ignorant act someone can commit. The signers of our Declaration of Independence risked being executed by choosing a chance to give everyone that came after them a chance for freedom; instead of being thankful we have a chance to decide who leads us, it's so much easier to not offend anyone and not vote. Don't like your options? No candidate can every completely embody everything you stand for. Find the one closest to your views and help push things in your direction. "The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all" - John F. Kennedy."

I agree with this on many levels. I think it's vital for Americans to get up off their lazy asses and vote - vote for SOMETHING, vote for anything, show up and leave your ballot blank for all I care. But show that you appreciate being an American enough to do what thousands of people fought long and hard for us to be able to do.

Oh, and also? If you choose to be a lazy ass and NOT go vote? Don't you DARE complain about the outcome of the election you decided wasn't worth your time.

There were actually a lot of awesome comments on Alexa's "What Would Dumbo Say?" post - I would check them out if I were you.


Sarah said...

Firstly, I will say that I always vote. In both presidential elections that I've been old enough to vote for, I voted libertarian, because I didn't like either candidate. I knew they wouldn't win, but I had to vote. It's what we all should do!

Secondly, I have a friend who complains, and then I found out she has never voted and throws out her jury summons' and I gave her quite the talking to.

Mrs. Case said...

As an Independent I am constantly forced to choose the lesser of the two evils knowing a vote for anyone other than a Democrat or Republican won't count. Regardless, I always make sure to vote. Apathy really chaps my ass, too.

Dolce said...

I couldn't agree more! It bothers me that its people my age who use the excuse, "One vote doesn't matter." Well when a million people have the same opinion it make all the difference in the world!

alexa @clevelandsaplum said...

thanks for putting this out there, the guy that wrote the comment is actually a friend of mine and he is very passionate about his beliefs and his comment was one of my favorites as well.

it puts it into perspective doesn't it?

Todd said...

One needs not be apathetic not to vote. I care very much for the future of this wonderful country. I have voted in all presidential elections and most state and local ones since I turned 18.

Not voting is a valid choice when you don't know the issues. It can also make a statement that one does not believe either candidate is worthy of an office.

Those who have risked their lives and fought for our freedoms didn't do it so we could write in "Mickey Mouse" when voting for the mayor. No one should be coerced to vote just because they can. Is it a wonderful privilege? Of course.

Freedom of speech does not diminish because one does not participate in the process. And voting doesn't make anyone more of an American than the person who chooses not to vote.

Anonymous said...

Saying "I'm not going to vote because I don't know about the issues or candidates" is the same as saying "I'm too lazy to learn about them, so it's just easier for me note to vote." That excuse may have floated a century ago when information was not free or easily disseminated, but it sinks like a 50 lb weight today. Every candidate and issue are 1 google search away from all the info anyone needs to make an informed choice.

Unless the two candidates are identical twins with the same education, experience, and stances on issues, one has to be better than the other. Mickey mouse or donald duck - they might both suck, but there's always a lesser of two evils. picking one helps move progress along.

I'm not a better american than anyone else because I vote. But I do think it's better to take the time to investigate and learn and make an informed decision rather than voting blindly, or as you suggest, just not voting because of an unwillingness to learn. Democracy isn't easy, but then again I don't think it never was intended to be. I'm willing to work at it.