Tomorrow morning there will be the obligatory editorial in the paper telling you that it is your right and your duty to vote. Monday evening the local TV news will also have a little editorial and tell you same thing. These editorials will probably remind you that people fought and died in wars so we could have the right to vote. It may tell you that African Americans were beatten and jailed and lynched and had fire hoses and dogs turned on them so you could vote. If you are female, they will tell you that you are betraying all the women who fought for women’s suffrage if you don’t vote.
You will be told you have an obligation to vote. You do not; just ask Barack Obama. As a U. S. Senator he abstained from voting on very many occasions on very important issues. He simply voted “Present” time and time again. So, if Barack doesn’t bother to vote while serving in the US Senate, why should you?
The people who want you to vote are going to tell you that if you don’t vote any number of bad things might happen: your home will get foreclosed, they will take away your right to get an abortion, more jobs will go overseas, a war will continue, new wars will start, and we will all die from global warming.
If you vote the right way they will tell you that you will no longer have to worry about filling you gas tank or paying your mortgage, jobs will not leave America any longer, your taxes will be lower because only the super rich will have to pay taxes, global warming will end, and gas prices will drop.
If that is not reason enough to vote they will tell you this: This will be an historic elections and the Nation is going to elect its first Black president. You do want to be part of this historic election, do you not?
You will be told 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.
You should not let anyone shame you into voting. You should not vote unless you are real informed and confident in your decision. 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 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 get most of your news from Saturday Night Live and The Colbert Report, please do not vote.
Some people will tell you that if you don’t vote you have no right to complain. That is just not true. By not voting, you are not giving up the right to complain.
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.
Voting is difficult. It is very complicated to figure out how to do it right. Look at all those people in Florida who left hanging chads. 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.
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 where on Election Day 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, I wouldn’t vote.