“Voting is our most fundamental responsibility as citizens — without it, our American democracy wouldn’t exist. WordPress.com is a platform that gives everyday people the ability to share their voice and we’re asking you to take advantage of this voice — by exercising your right to vote. We’re asking you for your help to spread the word, encourage participation and get out the vote on November 4th, 2014.”
The quote above is written by Peter Slutsky, a WordPress writer, which compliments the featured picture of this post. Now, I am quite pleased that WordPress and other organizations are promoting election day, getting people out to vote. Being at a university I have seen signs and chalk drawings on pavements everywhere that say “VOTE” , “DON”T FORGET TO VOTE” , “VOTE TO GET YOUR VOICE HEARD” and so on. However, I have learned that people are hardly motivated to go out and exercise their civic duty now-a-days for one huge, dripping reason: people think politicians suck….
How true this assumption may be is up for a vivacious debate among voters. Unfortunately, for our democracy, no one bothers with looking further into it because politicians, for the most part, are so worried with lobbyists, appeasing their private funders, and general craps they give about others in their party that NOTHING ACTUALLY GETS DONE. That is the biggest reason why no one, especially younger voters, don’t bother to vote because it won’t change anything. Politicians are all the same. They get nothing done because of the political whirlpool.
And it’s a double edge sword.
Nothing ever gets done because people don’t vote because they assume all politicians are the same, lazy, easily bribed and corrupted, and don’t care about representing the people that give them their jobs…
Is there a way out of us devouring of our own tails? If there is, it’s going to take a hellova long time to see it, probably decades into the future of our lifetimes. Nevertheless, all these ads and campaigns about getting people out to the polls makes it seem like one huge ‘Vote’-ing chore. Making our voice heard on or before election day should not feel like a hassle: “oh, yeah I’ve been meaning to do that,” says you. Ten days later, “oh I REALLY do need to get to the polls.” Then you discover Supernatural has new episodes on Netflix and ohp, November 4th has done and gone. Voting should not, was not intended, to be like this. We have a unique privilege as one of the greatest, longest lasting republican democracies on the planet to exercise our Citizen Dharma : to vote not because we just need to get it over with, but because by doing so we are celebrating our chance to make a difference with a single pen stroke. People should be queueing up for an hour long wait to the polls, taking their lunch hour, to go vote. It should be the first thing they wake up in the morning on the day they designated, thinking “oh I get to vote today!” It should be…but it isn’t.
Now, it’s hard to vote when you’re not very informed with the candidates up for representation of your state or nation. Our lives are busy. We have enough to worry about keeping our own worlds, and our friends and family’s, in order. Are we responsible for doing research and finding out which politician would fit our interests best? Yes. Should we have to spend more than a few hours reading on the Internet or attending a rally in order to get the gist? No. A big problem with people not getting excited about voting is because we are poorly informed. Media, attack ads, and probably most internet sites are going to be skewed one way or the other. There is so much lying about this scandal or that tax withholding, the truth becomes irrelevant. Politicians, it seems, will say whatever they can to get votes and get in power. You read a platform. Is that really what they are going to do? Or will bureaucracy fail? No wonder people are least inclined to vote. And here we come back to the original issue: people think nothing ever gets done.
I voted yesterday, and the last option was about a referendum bill up for question. The bill was to ask if you were for or against someone’s right to a trial of a jury if that person was not on death row. That is a summary of it, and these kinds of government documents are so muddily worded, I have a hard time understanding them, but I digress. I stood there with my mouth open when I got to the waive the right to a trial by jury and only be sentenced by a judge. Really? REALLY? The right for ALL to be tried by a jury of your peers is in the very foundation of our justice system! It’s what separates us from nations that only deal with criminals via a single arbiter…I know it may be more of a hassle for jurors and for the whole due process, making it longer than it might need to be but still. Now, I am all for making amendments to the Constitution and other official documents. They are living after all and are designed to be updated to the requirements of contemporary times. I think it was Ben Franklin that said the Constitution should be revised every twenty years? Not certain, it was something like that. This above issue of the future of our court system is a perfect example of how people can make a difference. If congress can’t step up, swallow their prides, and get stuff done then it’s up to the people to do it.
Get out and vote and encourage our politicians to become more honest and forthright. If they are, I think they’ll find the people will back them still. Owning up to mistakes or a stalwart peer is something you have to have balls to do. I would want to have or be a leader who knows how to be dead honest with my people, even though I do know in certain extreme cases lying on behalf of the greater good is necessary. None of us are perfect. If you deny that you’re either a fool or a liar. Oh, or you’re just scared of the truth, which opens up a whole additional kettle of fish to fry. I don’t want to get into people who are afraid of reality and the evolution of the social lifeblood. I will, however, fully support WordPress and their partnership with The Pew Charitable Trust and Google in encouraging everybody, not that I should have to, to VOTE! The more we are unafraid of how capable we are of change the more we can break democratic lethargy and create a better future. Don’t make it a chore.