Next time, vote

For all those people out there who are too apathetic or ignorant to vote: GET A FREAKING CLUE!*

On Tuesday, the hashtag #ivoted was trending on Twitter.  Wondering what other comments people were making in these tweets, I checked it out.  I was sorely disappointed with what I saw. I’d estimate a good half of the tweets went something like this:

“#ivoted … LOL JK!”

There is only one word for these people, and that word is pathetic. If you really are so apathetic that you truly don’t care about who your elected representatives are, then so be it.  And if you’re so clueless about the who and how of government that you didn’t even realize that there was an election… well, I don’t know what to say about that.

But if you did indeed realize that there was an election, so much so that you TWEETED about it (or posted some snarky comment on Facebook), but decided that the best thing to do was laugh about it: for the love of Christ, get a life and get a clue.  Here, I’ll help you out and GIVE you a clue. Free.

You may think that it really doesn’t matter who’s in what office, and that all politicians are the same, or have the same agenda.  If you paid any attention to the news lately (or YouTube videos), you’d realize that the “Tea Party” proves that is not true. Saying that President Obama and president-wannabe Sarah Palin have “the same agenda” is ridiculous.

OK, so maybe you realize this fact.  But why should you vote? Because it affects NEARLY EVERY ASPECT OF YOUR LIFE. No, really. I’m not exaggerating. It does. Here’s a few examples:

You know those things you drive on everyday? You know… they call them “roads?” Guess how they got there? Taxes! Guess who levies those taxes? Your local and state governments. Choosing an elected official who would cut taxes, or opt to spend money on other things, means those roads may fall into disrepair.

You know those places where all children between five and eighteen spend their days? Oh yeah– schools! Guess how they’re funded? That’s right! Taxes again!  Underfunding schools leads to more apathetic and clueless kids who won’t vote.  It’s a vicious cycle.

Moreover, guess who decides what those children are learning? Government!  Want to make sure that your children are learning about evolution?  You better hope that someone cared enough to elect a public official who will make sure that they do.

Want to marry the person that you love? Guess what? Not everyone can. Think everyone should? Vote for people who support LBGT equality. Don’t know what that means? Look it up. Think that gay marriage is wrong? Don’t talk to me. Think that we should just “live and let live?” Then you are letting bigots decide, which means that not everyone will be able to.

Have any family in the military? Guess who decides where they go, and what they fight for? There’s that government again!

Need to file a lawsuit, or heaven forfend, been a victim of a crime? Guess what? The judiciary branch is also part of government.

Government legislates what and where and when you can smoke and drink, how fast you can drive, what vehicles you can buy (though minimum exhaust standards), what your children eat in school, the fact that nutrition information is on the food that you buy, and what you can and can’t do with your body.**

The next time you find yourself saying “they shouldn’t be able to do that,” think to yourself, who’s going to stop them? Sure, it could be an angry mob, or your dad with a shotgun, but a better solution would be to pass a law and make it illegal. But that would require a government that also thinks that those people shouldn’t be able to do that thing… so, if you haven’t bothered to vote, you’d better hope that others who also care about that thing did.

OK. Rant done. Next time, vote, damn it.

*I tried to come up with other reasons why someone wouldn’t vote, but I really can’t come up with one.

**I know I’m missing obvious examples here, so don’t go pointing out something, triumphantly believing that you have shown me up.***

***Think that the government should stay out of all these things? Fine. Vote for people who want the same thing. But first, think about how anything is going to get done. Really. Are you going to teach your own kids and build your own roads?****

****Really? You think you would? I doubt it… You can’t even be bothered to vote!

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About Courtney Walters

Mama. Information librarian. Food lover. Knitter. Gardener (ish).
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One Response to Next time, vote

  1. juliaskinner says:

    This rant makes me happy. I know many folks that don’t think voting matters, or worse, are uninformed voters. For example, I walked into class abut 2 minutes late yesterday, and it was my classmate’s saving grace. She was going on to our instructor about ‘activist judges,’ which is an argument that makes me angry to begin with. But then, she couldn’t really support WHY she felt they were activist. She just said, ‘well they overstepped their bounds.’ When asked, ‘why?’ her response was, ‘well because they don’t make law.’ When asked, ‘so you felt they acted outside the constitution?’ she says ‘well I don’t know, I just don’t think they should make laws. That’s why I voted against it.’ I worry that she, being about 19 years old, just voted the way her parents did but didn’t bother to inform herself on the issues–she just heard a couple catchphrases that she agreed with and went with it.
    There used to be these detailed special sections in the Boulder Daily Camera before each election. It would list each candidate and issue on the ballot, and next to them would summarize issues with pros and cons commonly cited by both sides (for candidates it would talk about their platform). It was an easy way to inform voters. I’ve tried to find a similar source for Iowa that I can share with others, and the Internets produce nothing.

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