CHOOSING NOT TO VOTE COSTS US MORE EACH AND EVERY DAY
Wednesday, October 17, 2018 … 3:39 P.M.
“Voting” the first time is one of my favorite childhood memories. Of course, given that I was five years old, it was actually my first time inside a voting booth.
My mom took me with her to cast her ballot for President Eisenhower’s second term (she hoped), and held me up in the booth to show me how it was done.
In that tiny private space, my mother’s show-and-tell demonstrated our core civic duty, and set my later status as a chronic voter.
These days, a solid majority of those eligible to vote do not.
As I recently detailed (SEE link below), even one of the front-runners in our Shreveport mayoral contest has never voted here. (Neither has he produced evidence to prove his private claim that he ever voted elsewhere.)
Then, of course, there is the matter of vote buying.
The sponsors of that particular criminality fly a variety of corrupt flags, and are provided cover by a host of public officials and other malevolent actors on the political left.
In my teens, I learned of then-U. S. Senator John Kennedy’s related, unfunny joke at the 1958 Gridiron Club Dinner in Washington. He entertained those august attendees by reading a (supposed?) telegram from his infamous father which read:
“Dear Jack: Don’t buy a single vote more than necessary. I’ll be damned if I’m going to pay for a landslide.”
As we learned in the wake of President Kennedy’s 1960 election, his foot soldiers certainly bought (a lot of) votes … but almost too few. He won by two-tenths of one percent.
Here at home, in 1979, I made my first trip to a U. S. Attorney and the FBI to nail vote-buyers we provably knew were at work in a local election … but failed.
Even now, these decades later, some of the same actors continue to ply that criminal trade.
For whatever reasons, too many honest Americans have fallen out of love with voting.
A recent study by Pew Research (SEE link below) notes that in the 2016 presidential election, 245.5 million Americans were eligible to vote – that is, were 18 or older – but only 157.6 million were registered to vote … 64.2%.
Worse yet, the actual number of voters that day was 136.8 million, 55.7% of those eligible.
Among OECD (Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development) nations, that 55.7% placed the United States near the bottom: 26th among those 32 nations.
Here is how Abraham Lincoln viewed the problem …
… “Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.”
More and more people don’t mind those blisters. In Shreveport’s mayoral vote three weeks from now, our mix of disinterest and disgust may well net us a record-low turnout.
Of course, the lower the turnout, the greater the effectiveness of vote-buying and other fraud.
Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia Center for Politics makes the point this way …
… “Every election is determined by the people who show up.”
While “we” stay home, “they” – every sort of illegal voter included – teach “good people” urgently important lessons which we continue to ignore.
For any who have not noticed, “we” are out of time.
© 2018 Elliott Stonecipher … ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
1. Stonecipher article, July 28, 2018, Shreveport mayoral candidate voting records:
2. Pew Research, May 2018: