The counts are in and reportedly nearly 62 percent of eligible American citizens cast a vote in November’s general election. I’m not sure what’s worse, the fact that it was only 62 percent or the fact that 62 percent is a 40-year high for the country.
The Detroit News article cited above does point out that “Turnout increased for the third straight presidential election, encouraging news for those who have warned about voter apathy.” That’s me, one of those people who is concerned with and warned about voter apathy.
How do we get people fired up enough to care? How do we get them interested in their amazing civil liberty to make sure they take advantage of it?
Does Estonia have the answer because it’s going to let people vote with their cell phones? Is that what it takes — making sure it’s as easy as possible? I hope not. I would hope people would want to vote. Maybe a trip back through time would help them understand how valuable a right they are simply thumbing their nose at. Oh, and they have to take that trip as a woman, a black person, an 18-year-old and/or, someone who does not own land.
If you are part of the more than 38 percent of people who didn’t vote, shame on you. If you’re part of that 38 percent and you happen to be female, black, 18-21 years of age or a renter — then double shame on you.
I was helping a friend edit a college paper recently and came across a startling comment made by one of our founding fathers that I thought would round out this post nicely. So I leave you with the comments of John Adams, which are almost as unsettling as watching 38 percent of eligible Americans piss away one of the greatest gifts they’ve ever received:
“The same reasoning which will induce you to admit all men who have no property, to vote, with those who have…will prove that you ought to admit women and children; for, generally speaking, women and children have as good judgments, and as independent minds, as those men who are wholly destitute of property; these last being to intents and purposes as much dependent upon others, who will please to feed, clothe and employ them, as women are upon their husbands, or children on their parents. Depend upon it, sir, it is dangerous to open so fruitful a source of controversy and altercation as would be opened by attempting to alter the qualifications of voters; there will be no end to it. New claims will arise; women will demand the vote; lads from 12 to 21 will think their rights not enough attended to; and every man who has not a farthing will demand an equal voice with any other, in all acts of state.”