Sunday, November 2, 2008

Then why vote?

In my last post I made the point that my one vote will not be the deciding vote in a presidential election. Then why vote?

Here are a few of my reasons for voting:

  1. It is my tribute to those who gave their lives so that I can. I know that that probably isn’t technically correct. And I realize that the Constitution does not specifically give me a right to vote, it none the less does establish the framework of a democratic republican form of government. And the concept of voting for your representatives is very much part of what makes up a democratic republic. And while most (all?) of the wars this country has fought had nothing to do with me retaining my “right to vote,” the Revolutionary War certainly set the stage for a government by the people.
  2. It is my duty as an American. I believe that people have the duty to do certain things even if there is not an obvious benefit. Voting is one of them. So what if the costs (lost productivity, transportation to and from, etc) of voting greatly outweigh any expected benefits. Now keep in mind, it is also your duty to vote for candidates that will truly “uphold and defend the Constitution” and that means voting for candidates that understand the limits placed on government by the Constitution. If you are a Jaywalker, either become more informed or DO NOT vote.
  3. Since I typically vote third party, I am sending a message - however small -that I took the time to go to the polls but didn’t like either of the two major party candidates. If you don’t vote, they will just assume you are apathetic and, therefore, they can do whatever they like once elected. It is my small protest against our current two-party system that constantly gives us slick politicians with no real substance or understanding of the meaning of the Constitution. They all seem to especially have trouble with understanding the Tenth Amendment. You know, the one that says, ”The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
  4. By voting third party, I am registering a vote for principled positions as opposed to the person. Very often I have never even heard of the candidate I vote for. All I know is he has aligned himself with the positions of a particular party. And almost without exception, third parties have not been corrupted by the coalition building of the two major parties in their attempts to get the most votes. If a candidate loses by 20,000 votes and a third party candidate received 21,000 votes, maybe the major party candidate will get the message that his position on certain issues were the reason.
  5. It feels good. It also feels good when I take part in a meaningless online poll. Sure there are more costs to actually voting, but I enjoy doing it.

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