Thinking Globally about Voting

I admit it: I’m one of those people that doesn’t remember to vote.  And doesn’t lose sleep over it later.

Call me pessimistic, but I’m just not a fan of government and the people in it.  They seem to spend too much time either (a) focused on the smaller things, (b) trying to solve real problems in a dumb and roundabout way, (c) fighting / fillibustering, or (d) glorifying themselves.

Yes, we need to take care of our planet.  But it’s unlikely that things are going to change drastically in the next six months if we don’t pass X legislation.  There are, however, a lot of people out of work whose lives are affected by every day that goes by without food to feed their families and the dignity that they get from a job – not handouts.

Yes, the health care system has problems making it inefficient and expensive.  But making it illegal to not have health insurance isn’t going to fix them.  Have you seen how many people who declared bankruptcy for medical bills HAD health insurance?  According to this article, three quarters.

Yes, illegal immigration is a problem.  But a bigger problem is the way that the country of Mexico is treating its citizens.  Our current situation in the US is not acceptable in my mind, but we should have some recourse for helping out those refugees who truly are seeking a better, safer life for their families.

I think the reason I don’t vote is because even though I know the government is broken I have no idea how to fix it.

Or I don’t like the options offered to me as an average voter to fix them.

“So your roof’s been leaking?  Well, your options are either (1) find a new place to live, (2) do nothing and hope it doesn’t rain, or (3) spend a few thousand dollars to have expert analyze the situation and by the time they’ve reached a conclusion the situation will have gotten much worse and they recommend a solution that would have been valid six months ago but is no longer applicable.  Or by that time you’ll be much more concerned about the effect the moldy roof is having on your HEALTH.”

Like, in my opinion, cutting taxes won’t fix government spending just like adding salads to the menu at McDonalds won’t fix people’s bad eating habits.

(Oh, and as an employee of a department that’s technically part of the government, I’ll tell you that there ain’t a lot of fluff spending in our office!  The fluffiest it gets is that I can spend about $3K per year (out of $12 mil) to feed my 200-person staff twice for staff appreciation.  I’d love lower taxes (who wouldn’t?) but the truth is that they’re going to cut funding to those lower offices that are already pinching their pennies rather than reform spending at the levels that actually waste stuff.)

But as I’ve been trying to think more globally about life in general, I’m humbly reminded how many people don’t get to vote.  And how many governments out there are far more corrupt that mine.

And my sit in the corner and pout because I don’t like how they’re running things argument looks pretty pathetic.

Which is why I’m spending my Monday evening with a cup of hot tea and the internet to figure out my yays and nays.  And tomorrow morning I’ll be setting my alarm early so I can stand in line in a crowded gymnasium with some other bleary-eyed folks so I can punch a few holes.

Racial minorities got the right to vote in 1870.

Women received the right to vote fifty years later in 1920.

And around the world in many countries people are still fighting for their right to have a say in their country’s affairs.

So get out there and vote, folks!  And be thankful for all the people that worked hard to pave the way so that you could.

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