Response to “Don’t Vote”

By By [email protected]

By [email protected]

“Please Vote”

I am writing in response the article submitted to the chronicle, recently encouraging students to not vote, and I am trying to remember when being silent over something did me any good. If memory serves, it has never been beneficial for me, fighting for my own rights as a minority. I not only value my right to vote, I treasure it. I do so in respect for the many minorities before me that fought, with their lives to give me this right. You stated “non voting is a pure form of civil disobedience.” You have the standards of civil disobedience all wrong. The term “civil disobedience”defines the active refusal to obey certain laws, demands and commands of a government or of an occupying power without resorting to physical violence. Voting is a right, it is not a law, demand or command of government. Even if you take it out of context, those that have engaged in civil disobedience have previously attempted to contact a politician regarding the issues. You also cajole those in your article to “Join the 75% of Americans who won’t vote for our next president.” That is a biased and unreasonable number. According to the US Census Bureau, from 1966-2002 the lowest amount of registered voters to not vote, was 40.1%. A registered voter, at least has the initiative to fill out a form, in hopes that someone will be a viable candidate. This electoral year has promised to turn out an exceptionally large amount of voters than previous years, certainly higher than 25%. You state, “Imagine if 10 percent or only 5 percent of the electorate showed up to vote.” That would be my worst fear. I imagine those 5 percent to be avid O’Reily watchers, and Limbaugh listeners. I imagine those 5 percent to quote from Newt Gingrich’s book, and actively participate in the Christian Coalition. It may be others fears that those 5 percent could be Michael Moore fans, or Al Franken and Molly Ivan, readers. Either way the legislative process will move on with or without you, and not voting means you accept those terms. At least if you vote you could say, “I didn’t do it, you did.” But instead you want to step back from all legislative processes, and try to convert those who would choose to be active, to be silent. The crowd you draw from, the ones that don’t vote, cannot support your cause. A US Census poll in 2002 regarding why people didn’t vote that year, turned out only 7.3 % did not vote because they didn’t like the candidates, the most given reason, was because they were “too busy.” I imagine they will be “too busy” for your cause as well. Even if the majority didn’t vote, what is the alternative, a mind-reading God would spring from the heavens to represent all? If you don’t support democracy come up with a better idea rather than a political excuse to be lazy.