Will your vote on Tuesday matter?

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Mid-term elections Tuesday.  A possible change in control of the U.S. Senate if Republicans win enough seats.

Sitting Presidents, as a rule, lose seats in Congress in mid-term elections.  Current President Barack Obama’s job approval rating is in the dumpsters.

Ironically, Congress itself has a job approval even lower than the President’s.  Both Democrats and Republicans face voters who aren’t happy with either side.

Many voters say they no longer vote “for” any candidate but always “against” the one they like the least.

032311politicsAnother rule of mid-term elections is low voter turnout.  Most Americans don’t vote anyway but even fewer vote in the mid-term and makes it more likely that a minority of those eligible vote actually have any effect on an election where majority rules.

In the end, however, neither the majority or the winner of elections cast by less than a majority of voters makes any real difference in American government and politics today.

Those elected to office have little impact on how government functions.  America’s government is a large, faceless bureaucracy that functions in spite of the figureheads who occupy seats in the House or Senate or who lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Voting, by and large, is an exercise in futility performed in large part by those who neither understand the issues or the implications of the rhetoric handed down by consultant-created candidates and political parties driven by power and money.

But it’s the only option we really have in American government today.

For at least a decade of my life, I worked as a political operative, not to serve the people but to serve those who provided Porsches and Land Rovers in our garage, Turnbull & Asser shirts in my closets and an Amex Platinum Card in my wallet.

I served those willing to pay and the ones who pay well control our government.  Politics and government then, and now, is run by political mercenaries who answer to billionaires and well-heeled special interest groups.

Each time voter turnouts drop they slap each other on the back and tell their mercenaries “well done.  Keep it up.”

I know.  It was a part of my life that I will forever regret.

While I know the vote I will cast Tuesday will not change anything that happens in Washington, I do know that the risks of not voting are greater.

It’s one of the few remaining freedoms we have in this nation today and, if change can ever come about, it will be the driving force to bring that change.

If we don’t vote, then we don’t even try and even if we’re going to lose, we do at least have to try.

Right now, we’re treading water.  If we stop treading, we drown.

Vote.  Then get out and bitch and moan.  If you don’t vote, your only other option is to shut up and die.

notvoting

2 Responses to Will your vote on Tuesday matter?

  1. Doug, one vote does count. John Kennedy won election as president by the equivalent of one vote per precinct. It would have been a very different world if each of those voters had decided to stay home.