Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Today's the Day

Frankly, I don't care which political party you favor or which candidates. What I do care about is that you get up and go vote. Being able to vote is both a right and a privelege, and not exercising that right makes no sense. Plenty of people around the world who would give everything to have the right to decide what goes on in their country.

There are so many people who spend a lot of time complaining about the condition of our country, about the condition of our government, about the people in Congress. You can't complain about what goes on here if you are part of the problem rather than part of the solution.

Well, now's the chance to actually do something instead of just talking about it. Go out and vote!


The Rebbetzin's Husband said...

I already voted (absentee), but I wonder about the idea that those who do not vote are part of the problem. Is that necessarily true?

ProfK said...

Yes, Rabbi T, I do believe it's true. Our votes, obviously, are about electing public officials to serve in government. But it's not the only purpose. How many votes are cast for particular candidates or for particular measures that are on the ballot can give a clue as to how strongly or weakly we feel about certain parties/issues/candidates. It can serve as a warning/wake up call to government officials that we aren't happy or are happy about what they are doing. If only a very small percentage of the voting population shows up at the polls, politicians see this as indifference and go ahead and do what they want. When far larger percentages show up and vote and vote in or vote down a measure, those politicians are getting a realistic picture of what we want. If they don't give us what we want, and the percentage of voters is high, then they have been forewarned and should expect that voters just might retaliate during the next election.

During the last election, somewhere out west, a local politician won by the grand total of 39 votes--yes, 39. Had only a few more people voted, the results might well have been different. But even here, the politician elected can hardly claim that he has the full confidence of the voting public, and if he was smart, he'd do everything possible to ingratiate himself with ALL the voters.

There's also this--politicians, or at least smart ones (no that's not always an oxymoron), look at the demographics of which age groups/ cultural/religious groups voted for them. While they may be enjoined to serve all of the people, practically they do more when they can for those groups that are clearly their supporters.

A few years ago there was a lot of talk about doing something about the high costs of the federally backed student loans and about making the repayment period longer without tacking on more interest to the balance due. Now, who gets those loans? Generally people in the 18-23 age range. Well, guess who wasn't coming out to the polls in strong numbers? Yup, the demographic that would benefit by a change in the loan program. Guess what has died down? Discussion about changing the program.

So yes, not voting can make you part of the problem.

The Rebbetzin's Husband said...

Absolutely agreed that it can make you part of the problem. The cases you mention are good examples. I'm just not sure I would generalize to all cases.