Response-“Don’t Vote”

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The Biggest Statement

In a recent publication an article titled, “Don’t Vote” by Edward Stevenson. In this article Stevenson states that,” Nonvoting is a bigger statement than voting.” So is he saying that keeping silent will make the government address our needs? Or is he saying that the politicians up in capital hill will be so appalled by our apathy that they will have to pay attention. Well if you haven’t noticed youth doesn’t vote, and politicians don’t care. Instead they turn their back on the issues that affect us the most and blame it on the fact that we don’t show up on Election Day. Stevenson also says that,” if 10 percent or only 5 percent of the electorate showed up to vote,” than the government would be considered illegitimate and a new legitimated one would have to be established. There is one thing wrong with this, Stevenson is making the assumption that 90% of people will not vote, and they will refuse their constitutional right and civic responsibility and let decisions be made by the minority. This will not happen because even if only 30% of 18-24 year olds don’t vote, huge amount of older people do and they will decide the election. After all this is what usually happens anyway right? He goes on to say that, “Elections do limit political dissent and transform disruptive energy of the masses into a principal source of national power and authority. ” In the wake of last political election many of us have seen that this is not true. The disruptive and controversial aspects of the last election have awakened a new passion in people and as can be seen by many demonstrations, films, get out and vote crusades, the last election had the apposite affect. Instead of pushing down the masses, it awakened them. Stevenson seems to think that voting is about winning, about men trying to get political power for themselves. I don’t claim to know if this is true or not but I do know that voting is about making your voice heard. It’s about letting the elected officials know what you want, what you need and what you won’t stand for. Whether Stevenson wants to admit it or not we will always have elections, and low turnout or not someone will always come out elected. Instead of turning your back and claiming civil disobedience you have to stand up for what you believe. You can do this in many ways: protests, marches, petitions but most importantly through the one thing that will really make the government listen: the ballot box.

Stephany Murguia Political Science Major Junior