Put down the remote and vote!
When it comes to politics, Americans are particularly spoiled and lazy. We seem to have a constant demand for political news and opinion that manifests itself in 24 hour news channels, we rarely take the time to read through media biases to see the what a political debate is really about, and yet we complain bitterly about the state of our government. It seems we would rather be entertained than informed, and its hurting our country.
It is obvious that there are outside factors affecting how we vote or whether or not we vote at all. Campaign ads are becoming more and more outrageous, polling is making us think the outcome of a given election is predetermined and inevitable, and the mass media have failed to filter out misinformation in exchange for a juicy story. What has resulted is a desensitized populace that sees the political landscape as hillier than it really is, so it is no wonder over half of eligible American voters don’t vote.
How do we change this? Well, we must first accept that not everyone will change. Some people will always vote for the ugliest candidate, or the hottest, or the one with the funniest name, or SpongeBob (of which I am guilty…). But for the rest, they must realize that there is such a thing as civic duty, and if you do not take the time to fulfill it, you should not be complaining. According to the U.S. Census, the most common reason people give for not voting is that they were too busy or had conflicting work or school schedules, but to be honest, that is no excuse. A friend of mine recently drove from Ann Arbor to Grand Rapids (a 4-hour roundtrip) just to cast her vote without thinking anything of it. Elections roll around once every two years, so do us all a favor and block out an hour of your time every two years to make sure we’re not sending witches to Washington.