Fightin’ words: To vote or not to vote- Right or responsibility?

Anti-voting:

Katie Lane

Reporter

As a participating part of the republic we live in, this electoral season I will be implementing my right to not vote. We need to stand up for what is right and wrong and these presidential candidates are wrong. From Rick Santorum bashing the LGBT community, to Newt Gingrich wanting to colonize the moon, not one of them have what’s best for the citizens of the U.S. in mind. If the cookies are burnt, throw them out and start over.

I refuse to pick the lesser of this obvious group of evils and vote someone into office that can’t even support their nation as a candidate. The only semi-normal option we have is Ron Paul, and he’s lowest on the polls thanks to the caucuses. Can’t we just vote to send all the ignorant people to the moon with Gingrich?

Maybe I’m going against my civic duty as a resident of the U.S. by not voting. But with these options it’s like trying to decide who we want to shoot us in the head. Our government is by the people, for the people. As said person, I will not be thrown even more into this mess by being part of the process to destroy our rights.

I’m sure our founding fathers are rolling in their graves. We’ve turned the one thing, voting, that has set us apart as a nation into the biggest joke ever. It’s like a comedy skit you wish you didn’t have to watch, but everyone keeps posting it on your Facebook! I’ve never been this embarrassed by my country as I am now.

Do we really want to vote someone into office like Mitt Romney who has changed his stance on controversial subjects many times since running for Congress, and now for president? He is one of, if not the richest, candidates to have ever run for president. He’s a business man with some sort of Harry Potter spell because I can’t for the life of me figure out how this man has stayed on top in the polls.

And then there’s Newt Gingrich. The man can’t even hold a seat in Congress without some sort of scandal happening. He’s making speeches on colonizing the moon. Shouldn’t we be concerned about how we’re going to boost the economy of our already overpopulated earth before we move on to screwing up other planets?

What if we re-elect the man who’s already there messing things up? It looks like he’s gone back on his word. Apparently dirty politics isn’t bad anymore in Barack Obama’s eyes. Now it’s okay to accept money from the Wall Street big wigs, and then tell the 99 percent that he supports them against the 1 percent. Someone needs to make up this man’s mind for him because he obviously can’t.

In closing, my fellow Americans, this presidential race is one I’ll boycott with the entirety of my power. I will make use of the right I fight long and hard for, and that is freedom of speech. I will not be kept silent about the failure of our government and I encourage all of you to find your own stance and make it known. We are the leaders of today, and I will not leave an irreparable mess to my children. I won’t go down in history as the generation who voted a nincompoop for president.

 

Pro-voting:

Jacob Bush

Reporter

A citizen may vote because they want their opinion represented or their voice to be heard. Others may vote out of a deeply rooted sense of patriotism. But what happens when the voter feels that they don’t like any of the candidates, so they decide they won’t vote at all? Or that their one vote is so insignificantly small considering the U.S.’s large population that their ballot wouldn’t even matter if they did vote.

So, this voter doesn’t vote, and beyond their own sense of civic responsibility they certainly aren’t required too. Some even suggest that not voting is a means of voicing an opinion about the political candidates in itself.

However, what if we chose to look at voting through a different perspective? Voting as a means of prevention, instead of the red, white and blue colored idea it’s painted out to be. Certainly we can demonstrate how little we like our political candidates by not voting at all, but this can pave the way to injustice and only worsen problems if nobody tells the candidates there is something wrong. Someone regardless of personal like or dislike, voting or not voting, will become president, and nothing can be done about that. If citizens have the power to vote candidates into office, they also have the power to keep candidates out. Voting, in a sense, is a protection against the candidates we don’t like.

Not voting, undecided citizens are actually what candidates may prefer. Imagine how much easier it is for candidates to only have to appeal to their supporters and not have to work so hard to appeal to the indifferent voters that constitute the majority of Americans. Candidates backed only by the positive reinforcement of their voters no longer have to compromise their sometimes radical party views for the support of a moderate voter. Not voting in a system that is based upon its citizens voting is a voiceless plea for change.

Some Americans have lost contact with the power that a single vote can possess. Here, it’s easy to rationalize why one vote doesn’t make a difference. This argument however has no place in the countries that have never been given the right or opportunity to vote. The only reason they don’t vote is because a government prohibits it, or would not respect the legitimacy of an honest election. They know that a single quiet voice against a tyrant is still enough for it to become censored.

American citizens can vote, the subjects of a dictatorship can’t. What’s the obvious difference? We have the freedom to vote and nobody can stop us. What better way to celebrate freedom than to vote against a candidate who seeks to limit that freedom?

If in the end you do decide to vote and your candidate loses and the elected candidate makes the country worse, then you can always rely on the classic defense: don’t blame me, I voted for the other guy.

The Puyallup Post is the award-winning student news of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2017. Twitter/Instagram @puyalluppost

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Fightin’ words: To vote or not to vote- Right or responsibility?

by Katie Lane time to read: 4 min
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