Friday, October 26, 2012

Voting matters

As the 2012 election winds down, it’s hard to imagine that not everyone is a political junky, permanently tuned to MSNBC or to FOX. It’s hard to imagine that not everyone knows that the Gallup poll is released at 1 p.m. EST/EDT or the names of the “swing” states where candidates are omnipresent in these last two weeks. 

Not everyone loves politics. Some will have paid so little attention, or will be so divorced from the electoral process, that they will not bother to vote, the most basic right of a democracy.

The most common excuse for both not voting and not choosing is that it just doesn’t matter who is elected. It’s a poor excuse. Elections involve choices that do matter, and if anything is clear from the current campaign, it’s that this election involves a clear choice.

Mitt Romney and Barack Obama would emphasize very different things in the budgets they send to Congress. Each would make a very different choice in filling the vacancies on the Supreme Court likely to arise in the next four years. The political party in the White House will emphasize a completely different agenda than the one that is not. And the choices made by the president will affect the legal, civic, business and even personal decisions we each make, or are allowed to make, for decades to come.

Like it or not, when it comes to this election, it’s time to pay attention and to choose. It matters.

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