Day Writing: The cost of not voting
Thirty percent of registered voters in my county, Pennington County, South Dakota, showed up for the primary election earlier this year. One in three people. What I found even more astounding was hearing several people who didn’t bother to vote complain about the outcome. When did the majority of Americans become apathetic entitlests? Wanting a desired outcome without a willingness to put forth any effort to achieve it. Especially rural Americans; I thought we were the backbone of this country.
The most often heard reason for not voting is, “it won’t make any difference.” Not so. In fact, I firmly believe that by not voting, you are “not making a difference” to an exponentially greater degree. You are stating the democratic process of nominating and electing officials doesn’t matter. You’re asking for that right to be taken away, and providing a strong foundation for those in positions of power, folks who may believe very differently than you considering you had no hand in electing them, to replace our current system with a different one. One where you will learn the true meaning of your opinion and rights as a citizen not making any difference.
The right to vote is one paid for in blood, by those who have fought on behalf of our country to establish and preserve her. It is a serious thing, a valuable thing, and a thing that can be lost.
This has weighed heavily on my mind as we approach what I consider a critically important presidential election. Above and beyond the differences this election’s outcome will have on our jobs, industries, finances and rights as Americans is the value placed on human life. Hillary Clinton believes in abortion at any point in pregnancy, while Donald Trump opposes it. To me, this is the issue that causes all others to fade, and amidst the craziness of the election process this year, resonates with extreme importance. Playing God through stating that a human should have the right to pick and choose who lives and who dies is scary business. And, it’s a fire we’re playing with as we head toward November 8. Election day.
If you didn’t vote and were upset that your agriculture affiliated county commissioner wasn’t reelected this summer, you need to realize that you haven’t seen anything yet. The negative impact your laziness had in that instance was minute compared to what is ahead. You contribute to the direction our nation goes whether you cast a ballot or not. Wouldn’t you prefer to cast it in the direction of your choosing?
Whether the other 70 percent of my county votes with or against me, I hope to see them show up in a few days to cast their ballot. The cost of staying home, touting the “I don’t make a difference” story comes at far too high a cost.