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“I Don’t Think I’ll Vote”

October 21, 2010

Fine, don’t.  No really.  I can’t blame you.  I’ve had enough too–Enough of the negative personal attack ads that flood our airwaves, full of vitriolic, emotional appeals based on dubious information in some cases and outright lies in others.  Here in Illinois, the US Senate race with Kirk and Giannoulias appears to be between dumb and dumber, and I’m not certain who’s who.

Also, apparently there’s a TV ad running in several states that has the same “real people” who are supposedly constituents pulling at your heart strings but the politicians are dropped in based on the race.  Nice.  Maybe the financial crisis has caused some politicians to economize their spending–if only Washington could do the same.

Did you know that the idea that “every vote counts in our Democracy” is an invention of the 20th century and the Progressive movement? You see I’m a believer that a) not every vote should count, and b) we’re not a Democracy.  Who shouldn’t vote–how about a quiz?  Who was last year’s winner of American Idol? Who was just dropped from Dancing with the Stars?  What actress is endlessly in court for her drinking problems? Who was People magazine’s Sexist Man Alive for 2009?

Okay, now, who’s the current Speaker of the House; House Republican minority leader; the Majority and minority leaders in the Senate?  How about, name four out of nine justices on the Supreme Court of the United States?  Who’s your current Governor, Mayor? Or here’s one, name three Founding Fathers without using Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Adams or Madison?  Stumped?  Don’t feel bad, I suspect most of our fellow citizens don’t know either.  When pop culture has become more important than those who govern our culture, you know we’re in deep trouble.

So, yes, not every vote counts, because votes cast in ignorance, cancel out ones cast intelligently.  I’m not suggesting a test; I’m merely making a point. There are many countries where you can vote—Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, Palestinian Gaza—but that doesn’t mean you’re free, or that the election is fair.  Did you know that the United States is alone in the world as the longest standing and most stable Republic where free and fair elections take place?  Some may argue that the “fair” part is eroding, such as John Fund in his Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy.  (There’s that “D” word again.)  Like the quote most often attributed to Stalin goes, “It’s not who’s voting that counts, it’s whose counting the votes.”

On the “D” part, indulge me in a little experiment.  Let’s say the Pledge of Allegiance together.  “I pledge Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic”…stop right there.  See it.  I’ll bet if you’re like most people you blow right by that one without giving it a second thought.  But there it is.  We’re a Republic, a representative Republic based on democratic—little “d”—principles as a matter of fact.  Our Founders were exceptionally weary of Democracy, because a Democracy as they understood it was direct rule by the people—what they fondly referred to as “mob rule.”  It’s not the nice twist that was introduced and then indoctrinated into us since the early 20th century by the Progressives, incrementally moving us toward embracing this redefinition.

Think I’m a conspiracy theorist, well sort of, but think about it, the Founders believed in checks and balances as the best way to ensure the longevity of the Republic.  The House was elected by the people, the Senate by the States, and the President by the Electoral College.    What happened under the watchful eye of the devote Progressive, Woodrow Wilson, in 1913—the first progressive income tax in the Revenue Act, the creation of the Federal Reserve, the birth of the League of Nations, and popular election of Senators by the people.  Wow, that was one busy guy.

And are you aware of the National Popular Vote project?  Their objective is to pass a bill that “would guarantee the Presidency to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and the District of Columbia).”  Already this bill has “passed 30 legislative chambers in 20 states” and it has been “enacted by states possessing 73 electoral votes — 27% of the 270 necessary to activate the law,” including here in Illinois in 2008 with HB1685.  I suspect most of you didn’t know that.  If you thought “fly over” country wasn’t getting enough attention in Presidential campaigns, just wait until you see what happens if this every passes.    Let the pandering and propagandizing to the populace continue, I mean begin.

There is the other side.  The side that says elections have consequences; that you get what you vote or don’t vote for.  That you owe it to yourself, your children, your grandchildren, and anyone and everyone who has ever made the supreme sacrifice to allow us to freely and fairly choose our leaders.   That the hard fought and won suffrage for blacks and women deserves nothing less than the few minutes it takes us to cast our ballot; that, while we thought we elected representatives “like us”, we have awakened to brutal reality that our Country is being driven off a cliff by elites we barely recognize.

So vote or don’t, you are free to choose, but know why you’re making the choice and be prepared to take responsibility for the consequences.

Copyright 2010 Julie Schmidt.

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