get smart about your vote

Voting isn’t sexy. It doesn’t “rock”. And it’s not a fashionable privilege that can be shrugged off should it not fit in with your work schedule or social plans. Voting is 1) a right, and 2) a responsibility. Let me repeat that: it is your responsibility to vote. Voter turnout for the last 3 federal elections as been 37% (2002), 53.3% (2004), and 43.6% (2006) – that is fucking pathetic. And sadly, it’s been the status quo for the past 30+ years.

Democracy is a team sport; it requires participation from everyone involved in order to work properly.

Yeah, yeah, I know the election isn’t until November 4th. But it’s not just our responsibility to put a pin through a punch card; in order to do it properly, we need to do it with intelligence. It is our job to be informed voters. It is our job to make educated decisions as to who will better handle the demands and responsibilities of the highest executive office, not just in this country but, more than arguably, the world. And in order to pick the more extraordinary of the two candidates, even if it’s just relatively speaking, it is our duty to form educated opinions of them. So don’t try to sell me or anyone that “I’m abstaining/gimme someone to vote for” jive. It makes you sound like a spoiled child. First of all, that viewpoint more often than not is a product of the seemingly endless array of information and, by extension, choices, with which we are presented early on in the campaigning process. So no matter whom we choose, there will always be the buyer’s regret of, “I should have got the other one”. There’s always a better choice, right? Well, maybe there is. But the bottom line is that our choices are McCain and Obama. Period. We have no other choices. So we’d better learn as much about these dudes and their running mates as we can, because one of these two teams is going to be leading our country, and the way they govern will affect you, your loved ones, your neighbors, and your present or future children.

We have 7 weeks from today until Election Day, which gives us plenty of time to read up on the candidates, their positions, and their campaign policies. For our collective convenience, I’ve posted some links on my sideboard to both presidential candidates’ respective homepages, in addition to a few political sites and newspaper feeds. I’d recommend checking them at least semi-regularly, because the way a candidate runs their campaign will tell you a lot about the way they might run things out of the oval office. If you have any that are of particular merit or interest, please feel free to post them in the comments section; I’ll do my best to post some more links on the sidebar as well.

Of course, it hopefully goes without saying that, if you’re not registered, you owe it to yourself, to your family, your neighbor, and me to go out and get that taken care of. Normally when one shrugs and mumbles, “hopefully it goes without saying”, one is saying it for one’s own piece of mind. Sadly, I am not; or at least, not exclusively. There are a lot of people out there who, for one reason or another, don’t take this seriously. And while they shouldn’t have to be reminded, they need to be. So make sure you’re registered. Not tomorrow. Now. You can get a registration card at any post office, DMV, or other government service building. Or, you can download a mail-in form by clicking here.

I haven’t even discussed the state and municipal elections/propositions/amendments that will be on the ballot, but I’ll get to that as we come closer to November 4th. But for the time being, make sure you get yourself and your friends/famly educated on the candidates, if you haven’t already. Spread the word. Get people involved. Pressure them to know what the shit these guys and gal actually stand for. Even if you’ve already made up your mind on whom you’re voting for (like me), get some more learning on your brain so that you can 1) be more convinced of your decisions, and 2) more intelligently debate someone from the other side of the aisle.

But, should you choose not to vote, know that you’re fucking up my democracy. And I do not look kindly on that.

Published in: on September 17, 2008 at 12:07 am  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. i am SO rocking the vote for you

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