Friday, October 29, 2010

Election Day Approaches - Tsk, tsk, tsk

It’s that time of year again. I’m receiving “Suffragists Fought For This” and “Soldiers Died For This” emails. Posters encouraging voting are all over campus. Registration opportunities are everywhere. People are gearing up for the guilt trips; we've all heard them from those who think it's wrong not to vote.
I’m not a proponent of voting just for the sake of voting. I don’t see it as a mere right; to me, it’s a responsibility. If you don’t know or care what’s on the ballot, why risk voting the wrong way? Just to say that you vote?
I know people whose philosophies and lifestyles mark them clearly along party lines, yet they’re voting the opposite, without even recognizing their unwitting hypocrisy. Usually, they follow their parents’ or spouse’s voting practices.
I think it’s just fine to postpone voting until you develop a civic interest and take your rights seriously, instead of simply taking your right. I never voted until I was in my mid-20’s. It seems to me that no vote at all is preferable to an uneducated vote.
Instead of encouraging young people to vote, introduce them to the political process. Spark their interest. Show them how they can have an impact.

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