Respect The Right To Vote (EP.257)

To be completI don’t want the casual, mostly disinterested voter participating.

Introduction

Revolution 2.0™ does not support the various get out the vote campaigns. Here we encourage only the get out the deeply well researched and thought through get out the vote campaigns. To be completely honest, I don’t want the casual, mostly disinterested voter participating. No, I do not want to change the law; I want to change behavior. 

That is the subject of today’s 10-minute episode. 

Continuing

One of the eternal truths in politics, is that the less well informed voter, the casual voter, including those who are so disinterested that they cannot stir themselves to register and go vote every two to four years, will support the party that promises them the most, for the least effort in return. 

It takes an average of about 30 minutes a year to:

  • Keep your voter information current.
  • Go vote, or
  • Vote the mail-in ballot sent to your correct address, and addressed to you as a registered, active voter.

If someone is not willing to do that, how likely are they to do more than bumper sticker research, go deeper than accepting cliches as thinking, and do more than seeking out only the news outlets and people who are preaching what they already believe? 

A casual approach to anything has a strong tendency to lead to the easiest way to be given the most that you can get. Anyone, including voters, needs to be willing to engage in deep shovel research and thinking before they will even consider solutions, including political philosophies, that will demand hard work from them after the voting is over. Decades ago I was still too young to vote, but was old enough to be aware of the election process. Back then, absentee ballots were allowed only for those who could prove they were unable to vote in person. You needed to supply evidence that you were sick, out of town, or otherwise physically unable to get to your polling station. I remember hearing announcements like this on the radio (yes, radio):

  • “The votes are in, showing a tight race. The absentee ballots have yet to be counted, and they always break heavily toward the Republicans.” Or,
  • “The weather is unexpectedly bad tonight; that will favor the Republicans by depressing the Democratic vote.”

I did not know why that was true way back then, but I do now. The Republican philosophy has always leaned more toward dependence on personal actions and personal responsibility, while the Democrats lean more toward the government being responsible for things like our personal standard of living. And that belief in prioritizing personal responsibility gave the Republicans motivation to vote even when it was somewhat less convenient.

Pause for a comment about the current dustup over mail-in balloting and alleged hanky panky between the White House and the USPS. It is quite possible that shotgun ballot mailings, including unsolicited mass mailings to unmaintained voter lists, as a way of extending the voting franchise, will result in voter fraud. It is also possible that the USPS, beset each year with losses in the billions of dollars and hamstrung by layers of regulations and powerful unions, isn’t the best vehicle to expand the franchise to millions of casual and disinterested voters. This is not an episode about voter fraud. The point in this episode is that I do not want to encourage voting by the casual and barely interested voter in the first place, separate from any possibility of fraud. 

But the Democrats do. They know what I know, what we both now know: The more casual, yes, even disinterested the  voter is, the more likely they will be to vote Democrat. There are millions of careful, deeply thoughtful voters who vote consistently for the Democratic ticket. And I admire them for the careful, comparative research they perform before exercising their voting rights. I have no admiration, instead I have a deep disregard for anyone or any party who wants to expand our precious voting franchise to people who otherwise cannot be bothered to give up 30 minutes a year to go through the right motions in order to vote. Pause and think about the sacrifices in terms of blood and treasure that others made to give us, and defend for us, the right to vote. Don’t throw that away on people who have demonstrated how little they care.

The job is not done after we vote, with the baton being passed to the party we supported, expecting all of the heavy lifting to be done by politicians, supported by taxpayers. Voting is just the first step, and We The People need to keep pulling on the rope every week, every month, in between elections. All of us; Republicans, Democrats, and we registered Unaffiliated voters, need to keep contributing, keep pulling on the rope.

Any right comes with an equal or greater responsibility. Just as, for example, Second Amendment rights come with responsibilities, so does the right to vote. Anyone who possesses a gun must be well trained, take refresher courses and practice frequently. If the gun owner falls short of that, they should either sell their guns, or put them away permanently.

It might be clearer if we look at a more common activity, the “right” to drive. The word “right” seems out of place here, doesn’t it? Don’t we look at driving as a privilege? We need to be trained to drive, pass a test, pay for insurance and various fees, and follow the rules of the road. If we fail anywhere along the line, we risk losing our driving privileges. 

Why isn’t the same true of voting? I get it that we can’t test people prior to voting, but people should test and qualify themselves. In the same way that people should never get behind the wheel if they are unfit to drive (tired, angry, using any mind-altering substance, etc.), no one should vote if they are not completely prepared. Don’t come back at me with how irrational, uninformed, and generally wrong opposing voters are as a way of justifying your casual vote. Stand out. Be responsible. Set an example. 

Tell me what you believe. I and many others want to know. 

As always, whatever you do, do it in love. Without love, anything we do is empty.

Contact

As we get ready to wrap up, please do respond in the episodes with comments or questions about this episode or anything that comes to mind, or connect with me on Twitter, @willluden, Facebook, facebook.com/will.luden, and LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com/in/willluden/. And you can subscribe on your favorite device through Apple, Google, or Stitcher.

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Will Luden, coming to you from 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.

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4 Responses

  1. Paul Schaller Reply

    Just a word on mail in voting. I can see how it is easier to study a ballot, read what the League of Women Voters (or like comparative analysis) and really understand what you’re voting on if you do mail-in voting. There should be good resource sites for this kind of comparisons that are as unbiased as possible. I’m tired of voting for something that has a great sounding name – Black Lives Matter – but misunderstand that the goals of the organization or the initiative are about opposite what I think they are. California petitions are notorious for creating a marketing slogan for an initiative that means about the opposite of what the petition says.

    So, I think that mail in voting upon request (i.e. absentee voting) is a really good thing to encourage the kind of intelligent voter you’re suggesting. The fears of real mail-in voting should lie in the veracity of the voting rolls. If we could guarantee that the rolls were 99.9+% accurate, then I’m OK with outbound mailing and postal return by 3(?) days before the actual vote so that people could easily get their ballot and return them in time. We’d miss the drama of the voting day results and the press salivating at exit numbers but hopefully guarantee a more fair (and hopefully better informed) electorate.

    Call me crazy, but I can vividly remember the hanging chads while hundreds of volunteers tried to discern what someone meant by poking out a piece of cardboard. And yes, I do remember IBM cards and 029 punch machines.

    I think we’d actually be able to save lots of $$ by doing it this way and what we save could be added to enhance the security and integrity of the process. I’m sure we could come up with a way to really enhance the security that currently exists.

    Better informed? YES – give me a ballot with ALL of an issue in print and a cup of coffee and an hour or so to think about it and my vote will give a better account of my real sense of an issue. I could discuss it with my wife and friends and we’d really get thinking about policies and holding politicians accountable for their promises. I’d be willing to risk the .1% on possible fraud to get this kind of thinking going on instead of being hustled to a voting booth with people in line outside tapping their foot for me to hurry up.

    Just thinkin’

    • Will Luden Reply

      Paul, clear, convincing and well thought out. And I’d love to share a cuppa with you as we think things through…:). Come the day when I feel called to put up an episode featuring concerns with mail-in voting, I may cheat and just do a copy-and-paste of your comments–they are that well done. I was attempting to bring up a subject that I have not seen anyone else focus on: the strong left tilt of the casual and disinterested voter, and the strong push from the left to involve those voters for precisely that reason. Cheers, Will

  2. David Nation Reply

    It doesn’t take any deep research to know that the current regime in the White House if f**cking this country. You sound a lot like a vote suppressionist. Anyone who gives half a shite for this country, for the rule of law, for our democracy, would never suggest that anyone not vote. So, in my view, that puts you in with the idiots who voted this bunch in, to begin with, and who will do anything, even spread this kind of gibberish, to continue their corrupt ruination of our country.

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