Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Will you take time to vote next election?

Here in the Eighth U.S. Congressional District of Missouri, we had a chance to vote for our representative in the U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday, June 4. Most registered voters stayed home. The turnout was about 14 percent.
Now, listen, I’ve argued for both sides of this question.
Some months back I wrote in this space that I generally encourage a low turnout of registered voters. My logic was that important decisions such as the election of our lawmakers should be limited to intelligent people, or at the very least, those who are smart enough to: 1.) find out when elections are held, 2.) seek out information about candidates and issues and 3.) go to the polls and cast a ballot.
Voting should not, I wrote, be left up to morons who don’t know there is an election until somebody mentions it on election day. Voting should not be done by people who have no idea who the candidates are or what they stand for. Voting should not be done by people who have no personal, rational, coherent political philosophy on which to base their selection.
Voting should be the work of highly intelligent people like us, i.e., me, the writer of this column, and you, the reader of this column. I think that either the writing or or reading of this column is an excellent way to judge intelligence and worthiness of voting. We are an elite group, so following this line of thinking, voting should be done by only a handful in the community, like the one in 12 registered voters who cast ballots in the April municipal election.
And that brings up my “on the other hand” argument. After the April election, I blistered the registered voters who did not cast ballots to select the people who will make the decisions on how to spend local tax money.
My argument at that time was that if you did not vote, you ought not go around spouting and spitting about how much you love, honor, adore and support the men and women who have put on the uniform to defend this country.
The logic of that argument is that men and women have died in battle to give you the freedom to vote, so you are betraying them and belittling them by not exercising that freedom.
Even I, accused of being a draft dodger, am more a supporter of the troops and an American patriot than most registered voters, for I have hardly ever missed an election since I turned 18 back in the previous century.
I got more personal email, phone calls and comments about that voting to support the troops column than any I have written, with the exception of the one in which I proposed the “TNA: Target ‘n’ Annihilate” solution for the feral cat problem, which I wrote nearly two decades ago and still hear about every now and again.
Many of the comments about the obligation to vote were negative toward me. One tea partier even disagreed with me. You would think a tea partier would be in favor of voting in every election, but you would be wrong.
Now, the Bible says a “a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways,” and you might think I am double-minded, having written columns that seem to be in opposition to one another.
Perhaps I am, indeed, double-minded, for I see that you have a choice to make next election:  On the one hand, will you vote because you are highly intelligent? On the other hand, will you vote because you honor your rights that were earned by the blood of others?

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