For most Americans, elections seem to become bigger, louder and seem to go on forever. One election is over and it seems we are immediately thrown into the next election cycle. Sociologists have even coined the term Voter Fatigue to the effects of the seemingly constant election cycle. With all the vitriol, insults, and accusations, it’s easy for voters to just walk away.
Which is the worst thing which can be done for you, your community and your country.
Faith In The System
The right to vote didn’t just happen and for many people around the world, it’s a right they don’t have. It hasn’t been a full century since 1920 when women got the right to vote. Black men got the right to vote in 1870 but it wasn’t until 1965 when the Voting Rights Act swept away so many of the roadblocks blacks (men & women) had to voting.
But voting on Election Day isn’t about a patriotic guilt trip. It’s about reaffirming your support of our system. Certainly everyone has complaints about government, from the local to the Federal level. Everyone complains and wishes things were different, but on a day-to-day basis, almost all Americans would admit that we have it pretty good here in this country. However, history shows that ‘good times’ only last when people are committed to maintaining it.
When a large body of people doesn’t vote, it sends two signals. To some it says the electorate doesn’t care and this emboldens them to try to game the system with the idea that ‘nobody is looking’ as it were. The second signal is it gives the impression that the system is broken. This feeling then feeds on itself into a downward spiral. So regards of who or what you are voting one, your vote says, “I care and support the concept of our system of government.”
Why is it so important that the voters send that message that they care and are engaged? The reason is simple. Historically (and going on right now in many places in the world) the fastest way for a government to fall apart is to be seen as illegitimate. When the common people feel they cannot trust the government and/or outside parties are pulling strings behind the curtain, that country is in big trouble. Many of the veterans (like this author) of Iraq and Afghanistan saw this first hand.
When people stop engaging with their political system, things start to slip on many levels. Trust in government erodes and suddenly all sorts of conspiracy ideas start to take hold and before you know it there are people believing their own government did terrible things in secret. This leads to suspicion and a general hostile feeling towards the government workers whose job it’s to run and maintain the country. Again, things begin to spiral down into trouble.
All Politics Are Local
Voters turned off about the presidential election should not allow that to keep them away from the polls as there always important local & state contests and issues that directly affect them. Indeed suppression of local & state votes because of unpopular Federal candidates is cited as the lead cause of non-voting. So even if you don’t care who becomes the next President, your local community and state need your input especially since it’s tied more closely to how you live.
Show you are engaged; don’t let voter fatigue get you: Vote in this Election 2016!
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