In a recent letter to the editor, I read the following "I had two run-ins with family members recently that I find hard to understand. One was a question of if they were going to vote: One reply was "maybe...the other was...undecided."
The writer appears to take these positions as somewhere between a moral flaw and treason.
Obviously this person believes two of many lies that we have been spoon-fed since grade school:
A. Everyone should vote:
Many people have no clue as to what they are voting for or against. These people do not know what proposals are being made, and what these proposals really mean. How can it be good for an uninformed person to vote? It should be obvious that the reason that we have so many awful "representatives" is not because too few people vote but rather the problem is that too many uninformed and special interest people do vote.
Even people who take the time and energy, necessary to make an "educated" vote, find it difficult, if not impossible, to find the candidate's real position on many important issues. Many candidates go out of their way to obfuscate their positions on the important issues. All that you hear from most politicians are platitudes and hot button minutia. Even if politicians firmly state their positions once elected we find that most either do not carry through or worse take the exact opposite position after they are elected. For example, Obama preached "transparency" during his campaign. But, "transparency" has been the exception, not the rule. We fail to hold politicians to their word. It has become so bad that most people accept that most politicians are lying.
In many cases there is no good choice to be made, at best you are voting for the least lousy candidate. How can a thinking person bring himself to vote for the best looking horse in the glue factory?
Is the election determined by who has the most campaign lawn signs? If not, why are there thousands of these signs that tell us nothing about the candidate except for his/her name and desired position? Does anyone actually vote for a person because he/she saw a name on a sign? If these meaningless signs don't influence the vote why are millions of dollars spent on them? And if people vote based on these meaningless signs isn't this an indication that these people should not be voting?
B. Every vote is important:
I have voted for more than 40 years and my vote has never made a difference, even in local elections. My vote has never decided an election; therefore, the outcome was no different than if I had not voted. So how can anyone contend that my vote was important? As far as I can tell there was never a major election in which an individual vote decided the outcome, again how can any individual vote be important? The chance of your vote deciding an election is less likely than your getting killed driving to the polling place.