Election day is just a week away and I want to encourage everyone who is eligible to vote to go vote. Yeah, I hear you now saying, “What’s the point? My vote doesn’t count anyway.” And you’re absolutely right. Your vote does not count because it’s MIA. In the last presidential election approximately 60% of eligible voters voted. Where were the other 40%? That’s 40% of the citizens of the United States whose votes do not count. Unfortunately, the figure of 60% is considered a good turnout. In most elections, only about half of eligible voters vote. In local elections the numbers are even more dismal.
Folks, we hear a lot about “change” and “getting the country back on track.” But when only about half of us votes, what that really means is that the politicians who can raise the most money and influence the most active fringe elements of their particular political party sway the election in their favor. When a voter chooses to opt out of the process, the political parties are able to “get out the vote” for a small non-representative sampling of the American populace.
If you want your vote to count, then you must vote. Imagine what the country might look like if 80% or 90% of eligible voters hit the polls on Tuesday? If we want representatives, and senators, and governors, and local office holders who truly represent the people they claim to represent, then those people must vote. Otherwise, yes, indeed, your vote does not count and your hopes and desires for yourself, your family, and this country do not count either.
Oklahoma can be a great place to live in many ways. However, politically it’s a closed-minded state. The only recognized parties are the Republicans and Democrats. Other parties are active, but in essence they don’t exist. Oklahoma sets the bar so high to achieve status as a recognized party that they (I believe intentionally) dictate a stifling two-party state political machine.
I’m registered as Independent, so I didn’t get to vote in yesterday’s primary elections. But I can’t say I really cared. It looks like I will need to take an anti-nausea pill beforehand and then hold my nose when I cast my ballot in November. Are the candidates being put forth by the Democrats and Republicans really the best they have to offer?
I hope that during my lifetime a really strong 3rd-party candidate comes along that can actually win the presidency. Perhaps then we can return control of the government back to the people it purports to represent.