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Don’t Vote

November 3rd, 2008 · 9 Comments · Random Stuff

This is a public service announcement from the Trade Show Guru. Tomorrow, November 4, is election day in the United States, and Americans will have the opportunity to vote for the next leader of the free world, plus other federal politicians, state politicians, and (at least in California) a slew of state proposititions, plus local officials and local propositions. If you’re a registered voter (and hence eligible to vote) I’m asking please don’t vote.

Yes, I know that millions of Americans before us have fought for your right to vote, both abroad and here at home, and that many have given their lives so that you can vote. But yes, I’m asking you not to exercise that right, and not to vote. Yes, I said Don’t Vote

…unless you are going to cast an informed vote. Please don’t vote because MTV told you to “Rock the Vote”, or because you think a candidate is good looking, or looks the part, or because some Hollywood celebrity is telling you to vote. Please don’t vote because you got a bunch of glossy mailers making promises, or saying that the other guy is a “baby killer” or voted to poison our children. Please only vote if you can make an intelligent, informed decision. Please don’t vote because a politician made you a lot of promises. Only vote for that person if they have a record to prove they can and will do what they say. And if this year you pass up on this unique right to vote (because you’re not informed), then for the next election, pay attention before hand, study the candidates, their promises, and the issues, and then cast an informed vote.

American doesn’t need more people to vote. America needs more informed people to vote. Voting isn’t easy, and it carries consequences. I am reminded of a proposition that was on the California ballot during the last election. It seemed pretty simple. It was to reduce the number of years that a Californian politician could serve in the California house and senate from 16 years to 14 years, or something like that, and it was supported by “Citizens for Political Reform”, “Term Limits Now”, and a few other good sounding organizations (I made these up, but it was something like that. Anyway, it sounded good, until you read the arguments for and against it. It turns out that under current law, a politician could only serve in the house for 8 years, and in the Senate for 8 years. Very few served in both (which could technically be 16 total). A few senators didn’t want to leave the senate after 8 years, so they wanted to change the limit to 14 years, and formed these good sounding “organizations” and got the deceptive proposition on the ballot. If you read the “fine print” (i.e. if you were informed) you could figure out what was happening. The proposition was defeated.

I am sometimes amazed that America has made it and prospered for over 200 years, and wonder if we have another 200 years left in us, or if we face the fate of the Roman Empire. We have tough problems to face, and tough choices to make, but we seem to favor politicians that tell us what we want to hear, or make promises they can never keep, or just avoid the tough problems and talk about things that sound good but are of little consequence. We Americans have the right and ability to pick leaders that can deal with these problems, but only if we are informed. So I will again ask, if you aren’t informed, if you’re too busy with work, or life, or watching Lost, to learn where these politicians stand or what they will do, then please stay home tomorrow, and leave the voting up to those of us that are paying attention.

One last point. I can’t think about election day without thinking about the Fourth of July, and when I think about that, I think of a great post by the Master of the Phillipines about the Fourth of July. In the post, RT has a great video clip from the film Independence Day. I still get chills when I watch that clip. Perhaps I will write about Independence Day in my Movies category, though first I have to write my review of Run, Fatboy, Run. But before that, I’ll be going to the polls tomorrow to vote.

UPDATE (Nov 6): My wife and I voted. We continued our family tradition of taking our two kids along with us to vote, and then going out for hamburgers and french fries afterwards. Our kids were happy because they both got little American flag stickers that said “I Voted” to wear, and we spurged at In-And-Out Burgers and got them a milk shake to share as well.

Anyway, I thought about writing a post on the truly historic election results but then saw a post over at Rudy Amid’s blog that I thought I’d link to instead… Obama the 44th President of USA.


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