Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Rise To Vote, Sir

I voted. You voted. We all voted. We're all great. We're all heroes. Whoop-de-doo. Stickers for everyone.

Now I am obviously for voting and democracy, but frankly the act of voting in modern America isn't all that amazing an act. The trials and sacrifices of people of the past who had to fight for their right to vote is amazing. The trials and sacrifices of people of the present who are fighting for their to vote is amazing. Here in our wonderful modern 21st century democracy, it's all pretty well set up for you if you are eligible and for most people it is about a much an effort as going to the post office. Overall it's just plain something that is expected of you as a citizen of this country. No one gets a sticker and a pat on the back for paying their taxes or sorting their recycling.

All I'm saying is people shouldn't get too high on themselves that they voted. It's a basic thing to do, and if you think about it the bar is really low. There are few activities with as disproportionately high amount of praise for the small amount of work involved. There's just this blind, "Rock the Vote"/"Vote Or Die", emphasis on the act of voting itself. You're not even judged on the quality of your voting. I'm not even referring to choice of candidate, which is obviously beyond critique. However it think it is possible to be an inherently shitty voter. If I remained completely ignorant of the candidates and issues and walked into a voting booth and selected candidates based on how I subjectively felt about their names? Haven't I failed at voting? If I voted against all my own interests based on misinformed half truths and hearsay I vaguely heard about somewhere? If I didn't take the process seriously and wrote myself in as a write in candidate for every position? What if my ignorant voting patterns totally nullified your informed selections? Would I be deserving of a sticker as the rational voter in the next booth?

I always feel like kind of an idiot when I get down to the town council and school board member section of the ballot and I just arbitrarily pick the required number of candidates from the given list.

Actually if someone came out and admitted that they where to busy or lacking in interest to follow any of elections on the ballot and because of that was willing to voluntarily abstain from the democratic process and not vote, thus freeing up resources for other diligent voters and enhancing the power their votes; in a weird way that would be a sort of honorable act of self sacrifice. That might be worth at least some kind of sticker.

On a quick final note: in all my years of voting, I have never once received anything close to a sticker or pin or a even thumbs up. Apparently they keep it pretty bare bones in the my North Jersey suburb.

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