I ran across this thoughtful post this morning at A Disgruntled Republican. The author would like you, and me, to stay home on Tuesday and not vote. I believe that his post is aimed at those newly registered college students who are expected to actually come to the polls this time and vote in overwhelming numbers for Barack Obama.
A Disgruntled Republican very honestly gives his reason for not wanting those students to vote:
I don’t want you to vote. You see, if you don’t vote, my vote carries more weight. If only 33% of the people vote, it is like I am voting for three people; if 50% of the people vote it is like I am voting for only two people. I don’t want you to dilute my vote. Let me vote for you.
He argues that voting is a great responsibility, best left to those who have studied the issues and candidates thoroughly and who’s understanding is greater than yours – like himself, for instance.
Voting casually without being certain of your vote is wrong. Casting your vote should be a sober decision. Casting an unsure vote is sort of like driving drunk. So, if you don’t feel certain that you are qualified to vote or have adequately studied the issues; please don’t vote. If you get most of your news from Saturday Night Live and The Colbert Report, please do not vote.
He doesn’t say anything about people who get their news from Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and Jay Leno monologues, or The Drudge Report, for that matter. A Disgruntled Republican believes that he is more qualified to vote than you and I.
Actually, the founding fathers had similar concerns. In the beginning of this great nation only white males who owned property of a certain value (i.e. real estate, slaves, businesses) were considered qualified to vote. As long as a certain sense of civic responsibility prevailed this did not lead, in their opinion, to a government of the people, by the wealthy, for the wealthy. They were afraid of ‘democracy” which they thought of as mob rule. The government that they founding fathers built is a representative democracy, a republic, and not a pure democracy for this reason.
We have become less afraid of mob rule, although vestigial institutions like the electoral college remain. Over the course of a couple of centuries, give or take, the vote has been extended to people who are not rich, people of color, women and young people, only eighteen years of age. You are most likely one of those people who have been afforded the right to vote more recently than 1789.
A Disgruntled Republican also includes the following paragraph, which I hope, is an indication that his entire post in intended as satire. None of the following is even remotely true, except that jury rolls are made up from lists of registered voters. Showing up at the polls has nothing to do with it.
You do know that if you vote, you will probably get called to jury duty? Also, I understand that this year immigration officials will be at the voting places looking for illegal immigrants. There are always a lot of police at the voting places too. A lot of outstanding warrants are served on Election Day. Voter registration records are public records so the police know who will be voting where on Election Day so it is easy pickings to serve warrants. I have heard that officials also stake out the voting place to look for people who are behind on their child support.
I would think that the post has to be satire, unfortunately, these arguments have been used in printed flyers, distributed in poor urban neighborhoods, during every recent election cycle. There have been reports of this same tripe this year too.
He also says this:
What if you vote the wrong way and the person you vote for does something to really screw up the world? Do you want that responsibility?
We are all responsible, together, whether we vote or not, for the choice of our President. Do you want to throw way your chance to have a say in it. Do you want A Disgruntled Republican to choose for you? I have three words for you, then, President Sarah Palin. Try to sleep at night with that thought in your head.
So I ask you, are you a member of the mob? Do you consider yourself unqualified to vote? I didn’t think so. Students, please drag your Tuesday morning hangover into the voting boot and thoughtfully, soberly, take part in this historic election. Don’t let A Disgruntled Republican vote in your place.