Wednesday, January 02, 2008
To Be Qualified To Vote
This isn't the first time I've debated with myself about voting. I've, for some years, wondered why I bother. Candidates, politicians, pundits and celebrities admonish us to be sure and vote. They talk to people completely devoid of interest and knowledge of the politics of the country, and ask them to vote anyway.
After the election of slightly over a year ago, the election for President--to occur in November of this year--the campaigns began the day after the polls closed, which will mean a full two-year campaign! Tell me this isn't stupid--then prove it!
Even today, the day before the Iowa Caucuses (whatever they are!), the news tells us simultaneously that most Iowans won't bother, and that that most of them haven't made up their minds yet. Several polls per hour announce this or that candidate is in the lead and the other is in second, and that if so-and-so doesn't win there, he might as well pack up and go home. Astonishing!
What happens in Iowa means practically nothing to anyone except Iowans. Fifty States will each decide which candidate should be nominated in each party, each in its particular way. Personally, I'd like to see a free-for-all bar brawl in one state, last man standing decides the nominee.
One thing I hear from many folks is a variation of: why vote for him, he can't win? Well, duh! Of course if nobody votes for a candidate, he can't win. That's why you vote. I certainly don't want to remind myself of my mental shortcomings by just voting for the candidate who the media say will win. Note to readers: If everyone who likes a candidate, but is told he can't win, would vote for him anyway....he just might win!
Robert A Heinlein proposed in one of his books that, in order to achieve full citizenship and the right to vote, one must serve a tour in the military or other public service. I don't agree with that, and perhaps the Dean of science fiction didn't either, because public service by its nature is not productive.
Some of the Founders thought that only real property owners should vote. I like that better. But what I like best of all is that, as required in the US Constitution, no one has the right to vote on issues involving the lives and rights of others. Not even Congress. Not even the President. The task of all three branches of government is to decide ways and means to best protect the lives and rights of all Americans. Their only task.
If this little rant seems to wander and weave its way down a very foggy path, it's because these thoughts have been stewing within me for a year now, and I've finally decided to void my political bladder and write "NO MORE!" in large letters in the snow in a bright canary yellow.
I know for whom I'm going to vote, and I've known it for most of a year. I don't care who wins in Iowa or New Hampshire; it won't make any difference to me. If my man doesn't win the nomination, I either won't vote in November, or I'll vote for the candidate of one of the little parties.