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The Undecided

Okay, so it’s election season and the cartoons have been few and far between. I’m sorry, okay, a lot’s been on my plate lately, and since this is my NON-paid gig, it sits in the backseat.

I am going to make a declaration that may sound outrageous upon first utterance. This Tuesday, I do not think everybody should vote. In fact, I strongly believe that some people should not vote. Now that may sound harsh, and perhaps it is a little, so let me clarify. I do believe that every informed person should vote. That’s a big distinction.

“It’s your right!” come the calls from those who are trying to get one demographic or another to the polls to swing it favorably their direction. Yes, and with all rights, there comes responsibility.

YouTube is full of videos mocking the uninformed voters, people who cannot even name the vice president of the opposing party. (Some who cannot even name the VP of the person they just voted for!) It amazes me when I find out the reasons why people support certain candidates in any given election. Usually it’s because they believe the negative ads against the other person. But other reasons include likeability, swagger, good looks… What is this, the high school prom?!?

And what really boggles my mind is the so-called undecided demographic. How can you be undecided? No one should ever be undecided. Let me break it down for you. You have core values. These can be broken down into economic issues, social issues, and foreign affairs issues. Each party (notice I said party, not person) has made statements about where they stand as a party on those issues. You find out which aligns most correctly to yours and you vote the party ticket.

You and I can disagree on the roll of government, and that’s fine. We can argue those merits based upon our own understanding of history and I’ll let you throw in your vote for the Democrat party. But if you are pro-life, believe in private property rights and favor a strong military, it does not make sense to me that you would vote Democrat, simply because he’s cooler than the Republican.

Every voter should know where they stand on all of the ballot issues before they arrive at the polls on election day. To be reading the questions for the first time is foolish. And then to cast a vote, just so they don’t have empty spaces on their ballot is even worse. Let me clue you in. If you don’t know, don’t vote! An incomplete ballot is still counted! It is perfectly fine to show up on election day and just vote for president (or county sheriff, whichever you’re most passionate about). Your vote will count. And you won’t inadvertently be voting for a cause or person that just might not align with your values.

The founding fathers originally felt that only land owners should be allowed to vote. I certainly am not advocating we go back to this, but they had a point. They knew that if you owned land, you had to be intelligent enough to make that transaction a reality. And an intelligent voter is always an informed voter. There is no national intelligence requirement for elections, nor would I wish for one (I could see abuses in that in a hurry), but people should at least be informed on the issues.

I don’t remember the exact quote, but it’s from Thomas Jefferson and goes something like, “the uninformed electorate are tools in the hands of a despot.” How true that is. If we can be swayed by razzle, dazzle, then only we are to blame when we vote away our freedoms.

 

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