Tuesday, November 8, is Election Day — not a day too soon for many of you! It’s easy to get jaded and pessimistic about our elections. I often hear people of all political stripes gripe about
how corrupt politicians are, how bad their choices are, and how their vote doesn’t matter. There is some truth to those critiques. Although circumstances could always be better, remember that they also have the potential to be a whole lot worse. Democracy can be slow and frustrating, but if you study history, you’ll find that the alternative to democracy is normally worse.
It is OK to complain though — you can voice your complaint in the voting booth. Politics are much simpler than many people think. Convince enough other people of the merits of your position, and you can make a change. It’s easier said than done, but certainly not complicated. People who look like me used to have to guess the number of jelly beans in a jar or bubbles on a bar of soap to register to vote. Luckily, many very brave people risked their lives to remove those barriers.
Regardless of who or what you support, remember that, as George Jean Nathan said, “Bad officials are elected by good citizens who don’t vote.” If you don’t vote, you lose the right to complain. Voting boils down to simple math. If you don’t vote, you magnify the vote of everyone else who does. Elections are decided by the people who show up, so vote like your right to vote depended on it. You never know; it might.
Onward and Upward!
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