Saturday, November 6, 2010

Thanks for voting

I really mean it -- thanks for voting --  regardless of how you voted. Even if you voted for a revoltingly doctrinaire, really ridiculously unqualified candidate because you're angry. It's legitimate to be angry, and I understand that you may be moved to vote on that basis. It's self-defeating, and you should feel at least slightly embarassed, if you failed to vote because you're angry, or sick to death of politicians and their shenanigans, or for any other reason.  

I won't even mention that in some countries people risk their lives to vote, and all we have to do in America to exercise the greatest of our freedoms is jump in the car and drive down to the conveniently located polling place and spend a few minutes voting for the candidates of our choice. You don't even have to dip your finger in purple indelible ink. It's a lot more fun than getting a vaccination. You can take your kids if you need to. If you have to take your dog, you can ask one of the campaign workers outside to hold on to the leash for a few minutes, otherwise they're not doing anything useful.

If you voted, you set a good example for your family, your neighbors, your friends and your co-workers, and for the people of Texas, who may have posted the lowest election turnout rate in the Nov. 2 election:   it seems that barely 1 out of 3 Texans who were eligible to vote actually went to the polls.  And Gov. Perry's victory?....he got votes from less than 18% of Texan voters...

See  election results:

See this data set created by Prof. Michael McDonald at George Mason University:

Nationwide, it looks like barely 42% of eligible voters went to the polls. This means that in any tight races, less than 25% of eligible voters decided the winner.

This is not the way democracy is supposed to work. And, to tell the truth, democracy isn't really working when the voter turnout reveals that less than half of us are voting. Next spring, urge your family, friends and associates to vote in the primary election. As an American, do the right thing. You owe it to yourself.

1 comment:

  1. I have a simple credo:
    "Didn't vote? Then don't bitch."
    Our country isn't perfect (by several yardsticks pointing out at numerous [moral] compass points)and we can't hope to improve it, let alone make it perfect, if we don't vote. Thomas Jefferson is credited with saying "The government you elect is the government you deserve." My sense is that he never contemplated the thought that those who could vote (however unintelligently or misguided), wouldn't vote. Else he would have redrafted the axiom to read "The government you allow to take office, through your failure to vote otherwise, is the government you deserve."