Random ramblings of a mind damaged by years of disuse and abuse. Also a place to go to be bored to tears.
The Random Comic Strip
Words to live by...
"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."
(The right to looseness has been officially given)
"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."
Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Vote Early, Vote Often
Today is an important day around here and, I suspect, in many places around the U.S. It is the last day of what is called "early voting". I voted a few days ago. Tuesday, it was. I once thought that early voting wasn't needed. I mean, how hard is it to get your pampered rear-end to the polling place on one day out of a year? Truthfully? Not all that hard. But then I found myself in Palm Beach County, Florida in the year 2000. That year changed my mind.
I have come to realize that we are a sorry lot, we Americans. We don't vote in great numbers. Since 1968, the turnout has been less than 61% for presidential elections. Almost every other nation (that gets to vote) has a greater turnout than we do.
There are a number of reasons given for this. In my opinion, they are all bogus. The truth is, we are pretty apathetic when it comes to actually doing something. But not so much that we don't complain about the outcome of elections.
We are apathetic because we don't think our little votes matter all that much in the grand scheme of things. To a certain degree, that's a valid position. If a candidate wins by a large margin, that one vote is lost in a vast sea. And I have never seen, or even heard of, a race being decided by a single vote. Except in the movies.
Elections are decided by blocs of voters. And in the number of voters that stay away. In a sense, that's an expression of the country's mood also. Low turnouts are the result of a feeling of powerlessness by the electorate. And, in that sense, they are self fulfilling prophecies. The less you vote, the fewer people the politicians have to convince they are the right people for the office, the less they need to follow your wishes once in office.
I have believed for many years that the best thing we, as a people, could do is to vote out all incumbents each election. Regardless whether they are doing a good job or not. This is based on the concept that no elective office should be viewed as a "career." Some say we should have term limits. Maybe that would be helpful. But I don't think so. The career politician would just go from office to office much as they do now. Local council member to state legislator to US Congressman to US Senator to whatever.
Nope, much better to vote for the name you do not recognize as the office holder. Keep them on their toes. Don't allow them to build up a personal politcal organization or "machine." I once dreamed of a law that says anyone attempting to run for re-election would be committing a felony, subject to 10 years in prison.
I don't have much hope for any great numbers to follow my philosophy. I am enough of a realist to understand that. And it probably would be chaotic if it was followed. Maybe even border on anarchy. But do we really have anything much better than that now?
The best I can hope for is that when you vote, if you vote, that you actually think about who and what you are voting for. Too many do not. Too many voters just vote along party lines, just look at the other candidates as "the enemy." Too many people vote as their friends do or as some celebrity tells them to do or out of habit.
And then they wonder why so many crooks and weirdos are holding office.