Friday, October 3, 2008

Don't vote

There's a cute video circulating now, with an interesting approach to voting.

The premise is good. Cool young people talking straight into the camera, talking to you like you are their friend. They hook you up to a new google website that helps you find your local voting location. It's worth watching to the end just to see how cute Dustin Hoffman still is.

Their argument is as follows; don't vote, unless you care about the economy, education, choice, global warming, Darfur, etc.

What bothers me, is that they are implying that you will solve the world's problems by voting. Apparently for anyone. Just the act of voting will save the world.

I couldn't disagree more. I would rather all the people out there who are fired up by this video and other "get out the vote" campaigns stop and think before they vote.

I would rather have somebody not vote at all than make their decision based on limited information or reflection. It aggravates me that some people wait until they're in the voting booth to make decisions. If you don't carry convictions with your vote, don't vote. If you don't understand the issues or where the candidates stand on them, don't vote. If you haven't done your homework first, don't vote.

But if you have done your homework, or you will before November 4, then by all means follow the advice in this video and get registered online right now.

Voting is a privilege, a freedom, a right, and one that we must not take lightly. I'll take my kids with me when I vote in November, and I'll let them help feed the ballot into the machine. And I will try to help them understand how much I care about the issues. And yes, I'll teach them that if they don't understand something on the ballot, or they're not sure, don't vote.

9 people stopped folding laundry to write:

Scary Mommy said...

I agree with everything you said, especially on a local level. Unless people are voting Obama. In that case, I just want them to vote. Don't care why or how. ;)

Ash said...




I will NOT be voting in this election because I'm Canadian and haven't applied for my US citizenship yet.

I do think it is important to know what you are voting for. Interestingly, Canada has upcoming elections. They had a debate the SAME night as the American Vice Presidential debate (dumb move) so not many Canadians actually watched it to see who they want for Prime Minister. They were too busy watching Biden-Palin.

I've always thought Canadians should get to vote in the US elections. We have about as much as stake!

Anonymous said...

I always take my kids with me too and they have a voting booth set up for kids...they need to know.

LauraC said...

Amen to that! I can not believe the number of people who vote because that's how everyone else is voting.

I've been known to vote in elections and not cast a ballot for any candidate if I don't feel educated enough to make a decision.

Nancy said...

Wow. I think you're the first person who has ever stated this (that I've heard any way.)

I'm *so* not a political person, and in the past, didn't really care enough to be informed...and told people as much. I also wavered on whether I should vote. MAN, you'd think I'd told people that I was going to cut their heads off or something.

I'm more informed now, and I'm still unsure if I'll vote - but probably will.

Suburban Correspondent said...

That Julie person - I don't know how she could stand that close to Dustin Hoffman and not touch him. That man still has it!

Cheryl Lage said...

How I respect you for encouraging information over infatuation (ugh, or knee-jerk "my party" response) regarding ANY candidate! Think it is very easy to become enamoured with superficial aspects on either side, and not fully explore the impact of that all too easily facilitated vote.

My kiddos have come with me to vote every year since their birth...and lemme tell you, a double stroller at an assisted living community (our polling place) is QUITE the added attraction. Our kids wish we voted every day. ;)

Earlier this year, our four person family EACH favored a different candidate...and each had a well-founded basis for their declared preference. (Even at age 7, our two were specific in their factors of import...)

As always, great post, ThreeUnder!

Dena said...

I agree with everything you said 2/3, but I have to confess that this little video actually is the reason I registered to vote this year. Not because of Leonardo DiCaprio (*hurl*) or any of those famous people, but because I had NO IDEA I had to register by a certain date! I haven't registered to vote since I turned 18, and I only did it then because I got extra credit in my Government class for doing it.
This election is super important to me, and for some reason THIS TIME I feel like I can actually make a difference. I've never felt that way before about any other election.

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