Voting American Style
By now everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, is sick and tired of nasty political ads telling everyone that listens that everyone, except for themselves, are paragons of evil. We even have websites that check the accuracy of the ads and claims. Even political junkies like Lefty and me, are tired of it. And we love the stuff!
So the question is not, “why do people stay home from voting”, but rather, why does anyone bother to vote at all?
It’s an American tradition not to vote. It’s not required for citizenship, or for handouts, and the government won’t penalize you for not voting. There’s no incentive to vote. You don’t even get cookies, like you would if you gave blood. On a good year we might get 50% of everyone voting. But in an off-election year, we’re going to be lucky to see 35% turn out. And it’s easy to stay home, and yell at the TV, “throw the bums out!” and to put bumper stickers on your car that says you voted for the other guy. But let’s face it, most Americans are simply turned off to the whole process.
So what motivates the 50%?
For me, I’ll admit I sat out 2008 elections. I had McCain or Obama. Gah. So I didn’t vote for either of them.
And look what we got.
Republicans sat at home, shaking our heads in defeat, knowing the moment McCain got the nomination we had elected America’s first committed “collectivist” President.
And look what happened.
So I learned my lesson. My one vote may not have counted, but when I talked to other people, they didn’t want to vote either, and preferred to stay home and avoid taking responsibility for the outcome. For me, the point was driven home that I must be responsible as a citizen, or I have given up my freedom to participate.
In short, if I vote, I get to complain. Loudly, and with justification. You know how many times since 2008 I’ve been talking with someone about politics, and ask if they’ve voted? 65% of the time, they say no. End of argument. If you don’t vote, don’t complain.
Here’s who I know I am voting for this year:
Joni Ernst. Yes, Mitt’s endorsement of her was one of those things that made me go, “hmmm”. But the truth is, she has run a good campaign, avoided the Register, (which I recommend all conservatives do) and has weathered the tired old Democratic chant of “too extreme”. Here’s some helpful advice from the Doc to the Dems: Quit beating the “extreme” drum. Protecting life is not extreme, and neither is fiscal responsibility.
David Young. Egads, I said it out loud. If any of you listen to the show, you know my issues with the nomination process. David Young has said repeatedly that he’s pretty much a Democrat, wants to work with them and have coffee, won’t support term limits “because that’s how Washington works”, and says Obamacare is here to stay and he won’t do anything about it. He didn’t even friend us on FB. But he has said he promises to cut taxes. Appel, who has friended us, wants to let anyone in and help us pay for their benefits, loves taxes, and outright lies to us. So at least David Young is less of a politico than Appel.
And, of course, Branstad. I’ve known him since I was 13. I know his family. We’ve even gone to South Africa together on a medical mission trip. I know him, and trust that he will get us financially on track. Do I like some of his votes? No. Do I think he’s strong on abortion? Maybe, maybe not. But I know Iowa is in better shape now than four years ago. And he doesn’t run from me, unlike Hatch.
However, if it was anyone else besides Branstad, I would be voting for Dr. Lee Hieb. I hope she does what she says after the election, and get the Libertarians up and running in Iowa. It was a real shame what IPTV did, and should not have any funding from Iowa.
Go vote. And when the government lets you down, you have every right to complain. After all, you did vote!
AKA Pat Bertroche
The Doc and Lefty Radio Show