Put election year out of its misery: vote
Vote for somebody. Anybody.
Be an idealist. Believe in something and someone and go vote.
Don’t like either choice?
Sometimes it’s difficult to tell, but there will be more than two candidates on the ballot.
Don’t like any choice?
Write one in. It’s like a multiple choice test, but if you don’t see the best answer, pick your own.
Like one of the two major party candidates?
Show your support. It’s easy.
It’s been a long time since it has been this hard to not have a political opinion. Act on yours.
At the time of the 2000 General Election in the United States, 205.8 million Americans were voting age, according to the Federal Election Commission.
Despite how easy and nearly unavoidable registering has become, only 156.4 million members of the voting-age population, 76 percent, registered.
While 105.6 million voters went to the polls, nearly a third of registered voters sat 2000 out.
Neither Al Gore nor George W. Bush received a majority of the ballots cast, and, with only 51.3 percent of the voting-age population even casting a ballot, neither Gore nor Bush was supported at the polls by even a quarter of the voting-age population.
Let me say it again.
Less than a quarter of the voting-age population supported each candidate.
The number of votes cast for the challenger in 2000 was smaller by millions than the combined populations of Afghanistan and Iraq, and the president received about 500,000 fewer votes still.
That’s a group the size of the population of two largely desolate nations rallying behind a candidate for leader of the world’s last superpower.
A vote is pretty powerful.
The winning tally will again almost certainly be smaller than their combined populations, but the citizens of Afghanistan and Iraq won’t have a say, even though (and it’s one thing a Republican, Democrat, Green Party member or even Socialist Workers Party member can agree upon) the next president will impact the futures of those countries and the entire Middle East.
Afghanistan just had its first-ever presidential election. It’s much more than a symbolic step in that country’s drive forward, but an American ballot may be more significant in shaping Afghanistan’s future.
And the Middle East is just one example.
The United States has reshaped the future of the world from the Revolutionary War to War on Terrorism and many times in between.
A vote for the American president is a vote for the ‘leader of the free world,’ and the opportunity to vote is a privilege that relatively few of us are given and a lamentable few of us exercise.