Why I Will Not Vote This Next Election

I am the apathetic weight dragging this nation down. In two weeks, over 100 million Americans will cast their votes, and I will not be one of them. Both campaigns and their many acolytes on TV, Twitter, Facebook and street corners keep telling me that this is one of the most important elections in our country’s history.

This very newspaper has given ample space in an effort to help you choose who and what to vote for in these critical times. But the more I hear out of the mouths of these two “leaders”, the less guilty I feel about my choice.

The last debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney did nothing more then confirm how little a difference my choice will actually make. Rather then a substantive debate about foreign policy, the candidates battled to prove who loved Israel more, and tolerated Iran less. In the preceding events, we heard the pro-life, trickle-down conservative defend binders full of choices and seemingly reverse every part of his tax plan.

But it was the supposed socialist who really turned my head; I heard the progressive Democrat I voted for in 2008 defend guns, Israel, and the unlawful murder of thousands through drone warfare. Tell me again how important my vote is, how much it could change things?

The left loves to cite an obstructionist Congress, a still stifling economic climate, and the limited sample of four years.

While I accept all of these as contributing factors, I cannot assign them all the blame. Nearly four years after the Bush Administration, the security state it created has yet to surrender any of the powers and privileges taken in the name of “national security.”

An American citizen, Anwar Al-Awlaki, who was never convicted in a US court of any crime, was assassinated on the orders of the President. It took more then two years for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, one of the most ridiculous policies in the history of our military, to finally be abolished, and more then three years for our “progressive” leader to finish his evolution concerning civil rights and finally support marriage equality.

How am I supposed to believe that four more years will grant this president the courage of his convictions?

Spare me your earnest appeals to the spirit of democracy and the responsibilities of a citizen. I am not uninterested, uninformed, or undecided.

I prefer the policies Barack Obama doesn’t have the courage to defend, to the policies that Mitt Romney only pretends to support. Maybe others can accept the electoral reality that necessitates concessions, compromises, and outright lies.

Liberalism is a dirty word because no one with any real power has borne it with pride in nearly half a century.

Barry Goldwater, although a conservative, is a model for that pride that is nonexistent today; he chose ideals over votes and lost in a historic landslide. Yet modern conservatism rose from the ashes of that defeat to dominate the decades that followed.

Until we find a liberal nearly as brave as Mr. Goldwater to call herself or himself a bad name, and stand for unpopular ideals, then I see no reason to vote.

3 thoughts on “Why I Will Not Vote This Next Election

  1. There have only been a few times in my life where saying or writing a response to someone has seemed appropriate.
    This is one of those times.
    Your article “Why I Will Not Vote This Next Election” was disturbing, to say the least. Perhaps this was your intention, to inflict shock and awe. In which case, you further prove a point that I make all of the time: a hefty portion of today’s society consists of an overabundance of people that, rather than becoming more involved in the civic process to assist in making changes, prefer to sit back and react to the consequences of said changes while feeling as though nothing they do matters in the scheme of things. They think, “It’s everyone else’s responsibility, not mine.” They choose to take advantage of the democracy and instead of lending their hand in making choices, they instead condemn and criticize the choices of those who do take responsibility.
    This does not only come with the Presidential Election every four years. The Presidential Election is merely a part of our responsibility for our families, our communities and ourselves. If you want to be heard, start locally and then at the state level. You’ll find yourself faced with the opportunity to vote for city and county senators and representatives, and you should take it. They too play an important role in deciding on, implementing, and supporting policies that exist now and ones with potential for the future.
    One of very few intelligent statements that you made in your article, and by far the most accurate, is that you are the ” apathetic weight dragging this nation down”.
    By not casting a vote, you surrender your right to lecture on your opinion. By all means, you are more than entitled to have an opinion, but that alone is the only ground you have to stand on. Merely standing back and stating your disgust with the current available options and not further informing yourself with the policies the candidates represent makes you once again the weight you so accurately described yourself as.
    I too am frustrated with the current state of the union. However, I believe that this very mentality and attitude that you represent is the driving force behind many if not most of the problems we face as a nation.
    I suggest that looking at the available options for candidates and choosing the better of the two, while he or she might not live entirely up to your standards, is a much more efficient road to take. Do you really think you know better than they all do? If so, great. Go run for office.
    I also am not uninformed, undecided or disinterested. I have served this country in an effort to defend and represent those who have died before me so that we maintain, among many other things, the right to vote.
    So when I hear that someone does not want to vote in spite of myself and countless others before me putting our lives on the line if, for nothing else, you have that right to vote, I become upset. Countless names, faces, mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, sons, and daughters have risked even lost their lives for the integrity of our country, the integrity that comes with the freedom we have from the decisions we make with the votes we cast. Who are you to be so smug with their honor?
    I will end in saying that I will just chalk this all up to inexperience on your part. This may be one of the first opportunities you’ve had to vote, in which case I pity your premature cynicism. I will also say that these chances to vote do not come around often enough for you to just cast them aside with such disregard. Your generation will be choosing leaders for a long time to come and you need to understand that voting is one of the only ways we have in order to voice our opinions. It’s not enough to just talk about how strongly we feel without taking any action. I hope your readers become those who will choose to be heard rather than sit back and let someone else tell them how to live their lives and participate in upholding their country. You do have the chance, and the privilege, to make a difference.
    Don’t become a sheep.

  2. Yeah, I served this country too, so don’t lecture me on the sacrifice of others, or inexperience. I saw what the carefully considered voters of my country let happen in their name. Self-righteous lectures like this one are why I despise the sheep-like insistence that voting matters. If neither candidate satisfies my standards, I have the right to deny them my endorsement. If you think those that don’t vote have no right to an opinion, than you don’t deserve to call yourself a believer in democratic society.

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