Why I Vote


We are told that the right to vote is a sacred freedom that grants us a voice, no matter our stature in society, in what our government does. It is called, democracy and is supposed to be the challenge to dictatorships and monarchies. We, the people, have a voice in what our politicians do and how our government works. That is what we are told from almost every direction.

I believe, however, that the political system in the United States serves most of us less than well. It is designed to make the middle and lower class think they have influence and power when in essence a plutocracy is what we have. Proof? Lobbying and campaign financing, which is a system by which democracy can be bent and twisted toward the highest bidder. [Thanks to a few Supreme Court rulings such as Buckley v Valeo in 1976 and Citizens United v Federal Election Commission, 2010 as well as the raw power of money in and of itself]

To be more accurate, voting is a tool given by the powerful to make the less powerful think that what they decide really matters. The rich and powerful provide the fuel for our political system to run via campaign financing and lobbying laws. Occasionally, the masses throw a tantrum and the politicians reluctantly heed their will but not often enough to make significant gains for the other than the rich and powerful. Stated more personally, I am not rich or powerful [in the sense I am referring to in this piece]. Therefore, my voice and the voice of the vast majority, is but a whisper drowned out by the money that shouts into the ears of our politicians.

So why vote at all? I do not vote thinking that my one vote out of millions would make a difference. In fact, I can recall times when my vote did not preclude someone from winning whom I did not want to win; I have voted for some winners also. Nonetheless, for one vote out of millions to be the deciding vote would be a near impossibility.

I cast my vote because many people before me shed their blood and sweat so that I would have that right. Their time, effort and lives gives my vote merit and worth. So I exercise that right to honor their sacrifice. Thus, to not vote would be tantamount to spitting on their sacrifice. The fact that at times the choices put before us are either bad or very bad is effectively beside the point. In short, better to have the right to select a bad choice than to have no right to make a choice at all. Stated another way, I would be less inclined to vote if that right had never been denied to my people.

Thanks and gratitude to those who made it possible for my vote to be counted among the millions.

All this may sound cynical the many or to some it may sound realistic to the few. So what is the difference between a cynic and a realist? I am.

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Published in: on May 28, 2016 at 9:50 PM  Leave a Comment  
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