Monday, October 31, 2022

Should everyone vote in this election? Should you vote? Do you have a duty to vote?

by Rod Williams, Oct. 31, 2022 - Soon almost every newspaper in America will recycle their election day editorial urging readers to vote. The Tennessean will likely publish a signed editorial from Michael A. Anastasi saying, "Nashville, it's time to vote; no excuses. Let's get out in force on election day." They have used that title before, so they may give it a new title. The editorial will likely say, "Citizens have a duty to uphold their institutions and participate in the democratic process." David Plaza as editor used that line.  Since this is the first national election since the 2020 Trump coup attempt, the editorial may get more emotional than normal in trying to shame people into voting. 

Should everyone vote? Should you vote? Do you have a duty to vote? Let us take a look at why you should or should not vote.

First of all, if you live in most places in Tennessee your vote is not going to make a difference.  It just isn't. I am a political junkie and I do not know off the top of my head who is running against Bill Lee for Governor.  His election is not in doubt. I will most likely vote and I will vote for Bill Lee, but will one additional vote for Lee matter?  If you are a Democrat, why bother voting for Lee's Democrat challenger who is going to lose in a landslide? The outcome of that contest is not in doubt. So, why should that contest motivate you to vote?

There are a couple competitive races where I care about the outcome and the outcome is in doubt but I do not live in the district where these races are taking place.  I do not live in the 5th Congressional District, but if I did I would certainly vote and I would vote for Andy Ogles. I do not live in Tennessee House of Representatives District 59, but if I did I would certainly vote and I would vote for Michelle Forman. 

I live in Congressional District 7 where Mark Green is going to be elected in a landslide.  I am in Tennessee House District 58 where there is no Republican candidate running for that office. There is little to excite me about this election but I live and breathe public policy and politics. It is my passion and my hobby. I will vote despite little motivation to vote.  But should you? You could be fishing or watching football or going to the zoo with your grandkids, or washing your hair, or straightening your stereo wires. If politics is not your passion and there is little to excite you about the election, why vote? 

You will be told you have an obligation to vote. You do not. Just ask Barack Obama. Before becoming president, as a U. S. Senator, he abstained from voting on very many occasions and on very important issues. He simply voted “Present” time and time again. So, if Barack Obama did not bother to vote while serving in the US Senate, why should you vote?

A lot of people - important people, never bother to vote. You know who Bill Frist, right?  He is a former Tennessee U. S. Senator and was also the Senate majority leader. Before he was elected to public office he didn't vote for 18 years when he could have voted. 

John Edwards? He was a former Senator from North Carolina who almost got the Democratic Party nomination for President a few years ago. He has since been disgraced in a sex scandal. Anyway, until he ran for office he hardly ever voted. My point is, that if famous politicians like Senator Bill Frist, and Senator John Edwards did not bother to vote until they decided to run for office, why don't you just wait until you decide to run for office and then start voting?

Remember some years ago when Obama ran for president and the people who wanted you to vote for him told you that if you did not, that any number of bad things might happen: homes would get foreclosed, unemployment would increase, a war would continue, and we would all die from global warming? Well, people did vote for Obama and all of those things happened anyway, except we did not all die from global warming, but his administration did nothing about global warming so we wouldn't have died from global warming anyway. 

Often the dire things you are told will happen if you don't vote for a particular candidate happen anyway even if you do vote for that candidate and that candidate is elected.  Sometimes dire things you are told will happen if the other candidate is elected, do not happen when that other candidate is elected. My point is that voting a particular way will probably not result in the outcome you are promised will follow that person's election. 

Some people will tell you that not voting is a sign of a weak democracy and a sign that you just don’t care. Well, I am here to tell you that not voting is not a sign of a weak democracy or not caring. You could interpret not voting as a sign that things must be going so well, that people see no reason to vote. When the actions of government are so unimportant that people don’t feel compelled to vote, that is a sign that people must be pretty content and pretty certain that those who do vote will make the right decision. Not voting is a vote of confidence.

Do you have a patriotic duty to vote?  I'm not buying it.  In fact, I don't think one should vote unless one is really informed and confident in one's decision. Don't let anyone tell you it is your patriotic duty to vote. In fact, I think it is unpatriotic to cast an uninformed vote. What if you vote the wrong way and the person you vote for does something to really screw up the world? Do you want that responsibility?

Voting casually without being certain of your vote is wrong. Casting your vote should be a sober, thoughtful decision. Casting an unsure vote is sort of like driving drunk. So, if you don’t feel certain that you are qualified to vote or have adequately studied the issues; please don’t vote. If you haven't been paying attention, don't vote. If you get most of your news from Saturday Night Live and Facebook memes, please don't vote.

Some people will tell you that if you don’t vote you have no right to complain. I don't know who started that lie. It is just not true. By not voting, you are not giving up the right to complain.

Voting is difficult. It is very complicated to figure out how to do it right. The new electronic machines are real difficult to figure out and anyway, with the electronic machines, how do your even know your vote is counted? Also, the lines are often really long and it can take a lot of your time. And, it might rain. 

If you are a big Trump supporter and believe the 2020 election was stolen, then why would you bother voting? If the 2020 election was stolen, then what has changed to make you have confidence in the 2022 election? The "insiders" and the "deep state" are only going to allow the people they want to be elected, to be elected. Right? 

You do know that if you vote, you will probably get called to jury duty? Also, I understand that this year immigration officials will be at the voting places looking for illegal immigrants. There are always a lot of police at the voting places too. A lot of outstanding warrants are served on Election Day. Voter registration records are public records so the police know who will be voting so it is easy pickings to serve warrants. I have heard that officials also stake out the voting place to look for people who are behind on their child support.

So, if I were you, and I didn't feel well-informed on the issues and qualified to make a very important decision that will have an important impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of people,  I just wouldn’t vote. 

I have never believed that a large voter turnout of uninformed people makes for a stronger democracy. I would prefer fewer people vote who are informed rather than masses of people who are not informed.  I wish a lot of people would not vote.

I don’t want you to vote. You see, if you don’t vote, my vote carries more weight. If only 33% of the people vote, it is like I am voting for three people; if 50% of the people vote it is like I am voting for only two people. I don’t want you to dilute my vote. Let me vote for you. I have studied the issues. I am qualified to vote.

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1 comment:

  1. Please stop posting fake news

    Jury duty and voting have Nothing to do with each other