Saturday, October 4, 2014

This is what happens when you don't vote

Election Day is a month away -- November 4, for all you Americans out there. As this is a year without a presidential election, voter turnout is expected to be more woeful than usual. This is a pity, especially considering all the potential consequences of people having better things to do than the bare minimum expected of citizens in a democracy.

Around this time of year, people start passing around lists -- some reliable, some less so -- of elections decided by small margins, even as small as one vote. The obvious intent is to encourage all eligible voters to go to the polls, lest some undesirable outcome occur. But, hey, seeing as political gridlock is all but inevitable, what's the worst that could happen by not voting?

Examples below the fold....

When you only turn out for presidential election years (if that), you miss every other election for the House of Representatives. You miss the chance to do something about the House Science and Technology Committee being stacked with career politicians who either know nothing about science or do but choose to pretend otherwise for ideological reasons. And by "ideological", of course, I mean campaign contributions.

When you ignore elections for a university's Board of Trustees, the board gets populated with friends of the governor and other people who put politics ahead of higher education. That's how a research-focused school such as Florida State gets a creationist elected as its new president. Who cares about experience in higher education or understanding of basic science when there is important golf to be played... er, funds to be raised?

When you can't be bothered to vote for your local school board, it gets packed with ideologues who believe kids today don't learn enough about "patriotism, respect for authority and free enterprise" and reconfigure history curricula to address that perceived imbalance. When these boards number as few as five people, it doesn't take much to tip the scales and give control of the past to people who probably shouldn't be carrying that burden.

Is this the direction you want the country to go? If not, get out there and do something about it. If you won't listen to me, maybe you'll listen to George Carlin.
People are fucking nuts. This country is full of nitwits and assholes. You ever notice that? Nitwits, assholes, fuckups, scumbags, jerkoffs, and dipshits. And they all vote. In fact, sometimes you get the impression that they're the only ones who vote.
Don't disappoint Uncle George, people. Go vote.

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