So, ever sit around gabbing with people and someone says they’ve never voted in their life? Or they were just too busy to walk or drive to the polling station or (worse yet) fill out the Ballot by Mail form?
Beginning to squirm? If you don’t vote or haven’t voted in a long time you’ll probably want to stop reading this. But, hold on, you can always do what you probably do best, whine: “Ah, politicians are a bunch of liars!” Oh, really? When was the last time you studied the background of a politician? Read their credentials? The ones that are currently running the country and the bills they’ve introduced or sponsored? Ever donated time to your favorite candidate? Knocked on doors, volunteered in campaign offices? Manned phones begging people to get out and vote? Never? Well, I thought so. So I’m going to put you in the column of SHUT UP.
Harsh? Well, to all of you shameless non-voters, here’s something to think about: one of your blood relatives somewhere along your lineage here on earth died in some battle somewhere to protect your right to vote. Yawning yet? Ho-hum, I thought so.
How often I’ve heard: “Oh, the system is against me!” Boo-hoo. No, the system isn’t against you…you are. Notice when the placards come out, the marches, the protests, the people who get out the vote … notice what happens? Yeah, things change, incremental perhaps, but change, none the less. It wasn’t too long ago (1920) that women actually got the right to vote. How many folks have marched in the streets since then to be heard? Selma, Compton, Ferguson, Chicago, D.C. protesters everywhere have paid dearly for their sacrifices and in ways we will never know, and yet I can’t help but wonder how many of their kids vote.
Sobering fact: in 2012 there were 235,248,000 (million) Americans of voting age and only 54.9% voted. Pathetic isn’t it? Yeah, apathy kills.
I can hear you now, “Oh, but our elected representatives are supposed to do their job.” You don’t say? Well, you didn’t even vote and now you’re outraged with the “elitist” who have screwed everything up. The establishment did it … not me. Oh, really?
Do you know Los Angeles elected its current mayor with only 18% of the eligible voters?
Oh, yeah, I heard the crap about if people don’t get out and vote it’s because they are satisfied with the status quo. Well, in my opinion that’s just not true, people are just plain lazy-stupid to do the right thing. So either VOTE UP OR SHUT UP. No excuses. No finger pointing … you chose to have no voice.
And I don’t want to hear from people who’ve voted and complain that still nothing gets done. Duh, I’ve just explained that lack of voters in our system is why YOUR vote probably has not been counting. Or, perhaps, just perhaps, the majority didn’t agree with you. So, no pats on the back for voting, folks, it’s been your civic duty and moral responsibility. You should be proud that you do. Setting a good example for young people comes to mind.
A few statistics of Military deaths: (And still counting, by the way.)
Total American deaths
Revolutionary War (1775-1783) 4,435
War of 1812 (1812-1815) 2,260
Mexican War (1846-1848) 13, 283
Civil War (Union forces only) 364,511
Spanish-American War (1898-1901) 2,446
World War I (1917-1918) 116,516
World War II (1941-1946) 405,399
Korean War (1950-1953) 36,574
Vietnam Conflict (1964-1973) 58,220
Persian Gulf War (1990-1991) 383
We are all related to these heroic people—our blood cousins. Please don’t let their sacrifice get muddled in some random Memorial Day statistic that you read while munching on your hot dog and sipping lemonade by the pool on a sunny Monday.
‘If baby seals could vote, they wouldn’t be clubbed to death.’
VOTE UP OR SHUT UP.