Don't Rock the Vote

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It’s an election
year again, and every election year, many of my politically hibernating
friends start to contemplate whom they think best represents their
stance on the issues. Of course, when I say contemplating, I mean
they look at the candidates of the party with which they associate
and proceed to revere them unconditionally. I have one bit of advice
for them and anyone else preparing to exercise their ballot skills.
If you are not thoroughly informed about the candidates and their
issues, every side, don’t vote. Making an ignorant choice adds nothing
productive to our country.

I remember
the lessons taught to me and my peers in public school. Voting is
your right, you have to vote for democracy to work, men fought and
died for you to be able to cast that ballot. Never once was it argued
to us that we should become well educated in the political landscape
before making choices about things that would affect not only us,
but our fellow citizens, and posterity. We were not taught to understand
the constitution as the straight jacket for government, just that
it is framework from which the system grows. Why would the modern
government want us to be educated anyway? When voters are able and
prepared to think for themselves the party system falls apart. If
you think for yourself, they cannot think for you. Casting a vote
without a clear understanding of our constitution and government
is unacceptable.

Voting after
only watching the alphabet soup news networks and the debates is
not acceptable either. It is paramount to buying a vehicle based
on the best salesman, not the quality of the product. You are seeing
what the different (hardly) campaigns want you to see (though it
is hilarious to watch the debates and see the candidates slip up
and smudge their artful lies). Normally I support a person’s right
to make wrong decisions, but in the case of democracy, we all have
to ride in the car. And while one might like to peacefully opt out
of this trip, the last time some folks tried that two million blue-clad
feds invaded.

If you have
paid no attention and have taken no heed as to what is happening
in our country politically, walking to a voting booth and casting
a ballot on election day won’t absolve you of your willing ignorance.
The fact is you are just compounding it.

July
21, 2008

Philip
Brooks [send him mail]
is a Mechanical Engineering student at Texas A&M.

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