Monday, September 08, 2008

getting on my soapbox


I've been talking about apathy and voting on my personal blog and I've decided that the horse isn't quite dead yet, so I'm going to continue beating it today here at Fictionistas.

America is in trouble. And I'm not talking about our government, or the war, health care or whether or not we decide if abortion remains legal or homosexuals can marry.

I'm talking about apathy.

From Merriam-Webster.com

Main Entry: apathy
Pronunciation: \ˈa-pə-thē\
Function: noun

Etymology: Greek apatheia, from apathēs without feeling, from a- + pathos emotion — more at pathos Date:1594
1 : lack of feeling or emotion : impassiveness
2
: lack of interest or concern : indifference

Sigh. Why don't we care anymore?

I hear a lot of people talking about the Electoral College. How their voice isn't going to be heard because only four states will elect the President this year. I agree the EC is outdated but seriously, that excuse is terrible. Change cannot happen if you do not state your opinion. If you do not attempt to have your voice heard.

Did you know that in 2004, only 55% of the voting age population actually voted? Our national leader was elected by approximately half of the eligible Americans. In 2000, only 50% of the eligible population voted.*

We cannot use the Electoral College as an excuse if we do not vote. Period. Stop making excuses. Our ancestors died for us to have the right to vote. We will not be heard if we stop using our voice.

Here are some links. Educate yourself on the issues and vote according to what's right for you. The Republican party isn't only about pro-life and prayer in school. The Democratic party isn't about giving those who don't work a free ride. Do your research. Use your voice.

Let's kill apathy together.

Here are some links to get you started. Thanks for letting me beat the horse dead. I'm through now. I think.

PROJECT VOTE SMART
VOTE HELP
FACT CHECK OBAMA'S SPEECH
FACT CHECK MCCAIN'S SPEECH
FACT CHECK PALIN'S SPEECH
REPUBLICAN OR DEMOCRAT? (a blog from 2004 that has a simple test that will help you see where you land.)
THE GREEN PARTY
THE AMERICAN INDEPENDENT PARTY
CONSTITUTION PARTY
LIBERTARIAN PARTY
DEMOCRATIC PARTY
REPUBLICAN PARTY
and for even more party information (there are more than 20 US political parties)
POLITICAL 1

I did most of the work for you. All you need to do is take a little time to read, decide, and vote.

/rant.

*stats from United States Elections project

23 comments:

  1. YAY--great post! And one of HUGE importance.

    Not only did our ancestors die for our right to vote, many women campaigned and fought just as hard to get the women's vote. And the same goes for anyone who isn't a white landowning male (no, not that there's anything wrong with being a white dude, LOL. Just saying we ALL have the right to vote now, and we should exercise it).

    Only 1/2 of our nation voted in the last presidential election? That's just horrible.

    Good soapbox topic. Thanks for posting all those links, too!

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  2. *standing up applauding wildly*

    The excuse I hear most often is "well, I don't like either of the two choices, so I'm protesting."

    Not a good excuse. Nobody is forcing you to vote for only either a Democrat or Republican. True, at this time, our system is such that the winner will end up being either a Democrat or a Republican, but if you truly don't like either of the two major parties, then research your options in the other parties.

    By voting for a third-party candidate (whether because your state is definitely going Red and you know your vote for Obama won't change anything, or because you're fed up with the major party candidates) you take us one step closer to having a more plural system. If more people vote for third-party candidates, eventually finding and the right to participate in debates will happen.

    And this will only be better for democracy in the long run.

    Voting is a privilege and a responsibility that many people fought hard to obtain. Don't squander it.

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  3. The problem isn't that I don't care, it's that I don't see a difference in any of the candidates once they get this far in their poliitical career.

    A career politician smells like a career politician. But thanks for the links, I'll admit I never spent much time looking at alternatives to bipartisan politics, msybe I'll find an answer to my quandry there.

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  4. I vote my social conscience. I know what in my heart is right (for me) and I know that the party I support believes that overall. Even if the candidates smudge their truth in speeches, I know that at the heart of it all, my party and I share the same social conscience, and that is what is most important. People before money. (and this is coming from someone who could use the tax incentives right now. sigh)

    however, this year I thought we had a moderate running, which excited me. Until he was no longer moderate.

    I think that's what is sad. We truly have no 'moderate' party and I believe the majority of our nation is moderate. I hear a lot of people say "I'm socially liberal, fiscally conservative." As far as I can tell, there is no party that fits that description. Which is truly a shame.

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  5. Mel, you should just throw your hat in the ring, then. LOL!

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  6. LOL Rhonda! I'm afraid my past will come back to haunt me. I did in fact, inhale. Twice. I had premarital sex. Don't go to church on a regular basis, and I'm quite sure there is a VHS tape from a college party floating around that a moderate party might not approve of. LOL

    Which means I probably can't write YA for Random House either...

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  7. Yes, that is exactly what I am--socially liberal, fiscally conservative

    Also, I am Libra, which means making a decision about where to go for dinner means "I hope nobody had plans to actually eat in the next 24 hours".

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  8. I think a "socially liberal, fiscally conservative" ticket would totally sweep in a nation-wide election. Too bad that in a 2-party system that's heavily dependent on the base in the early process, you have to run to the extremes in order to even get nominated...

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  9. I totally agree with you, Mel. I think it is so important to vote. no matter your leanings, you should be heard. I hate that it is boiled down to parties, because the issues get lost when that happens. It's a civil war in my opinion when party lines come before the issues.

    so go vote, yes, speak your mind.

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  10. I love you, just sayin'. Fishdog better be grateful that neither of us are lesbians.

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  11. I always vote - by absentee ballot if I have to. Voting is one of our greatest rights, as women and Americans. Why anyone wouldn't, I don't know.

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  12. If you don't vote, you got no right to bitch when the administration doesn't do what you think is right.

    Voting is the most important freedom we have. But I really do wish we could get rid of the EC and have separate Prez / VP voting vs. lumped on one line. I don't like just one person picking the Veep, no matter how well vetted.

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  13. Go Mel! I'd vote for ya:)

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  14. AMEN, Mel! And wow! Great links! You really did do all the leg work anyone would need.

    Amanda, I've heard that one, too. And I have protest voted...but I voted! I did the research on the Libertarian candidate and the independents and everyone else.

    I'm right there with you guys—VOTE! Let's really make democracy work for US.

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  15. But I really do wish we could get rid of the EC and have separate Prez / VP voting

    Then we could choose to vote for Obama with Palin VP, or for McCain with Biden VP! :-) That would be fun to watch.

    Cara

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  16. VOTE-- even if it's for the wrong person.

    *ducking*

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  17. In Australia we have to vote, if you don't you're fined or face jail. Perhaps if that was the case in America apathy wouldn't be as bad. People forget that freedom is a priviledge not a right.

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  18. Natalie...that is an interesting way to handle it. Though I'm pretty sure it wouldn't fly well over here. We're the same country that when the world converted to the metric system, we said, "meh. I dont think so."

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  19. Hey Mel,

    When is your blog going to be back? Miss it big time. Thanks!

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  20. lesleen,
    aw thanks! It actually never went away, just got moved. (must update the site here) Blogspot is supposed to be redirecting it but unfortunately it doesn't do that in IE. (grrrr)

    You can find me at my new website: http://www.melissafrancis.net

    I hope you'll update your RSS and come back to see me!

    Hugs!

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  21. Oh, thank goodness! I was worried that I would be Mel O Dramaless. I updated my favorites but will have to let my Mom know, too (she's a fan ;)).
    HUGS!!

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  22. Thanks for passing it on to your mom, Lesleen!


    please excuse me for a moment...

    *snoopy dance* I have readers! I have readers!

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  23. Mel said:
    "People before money. (and this is coming from someone who could use the tax incentives right now. sigh)"

    I know the McCain campaign likes to claim that Obama will raise everyone's taxes, but that's because it's so much easier to make things up than to campaign on silly things like facts. The truth is that Obama's plan actually cuts taxes for the overwhelming majority of Americans. His tax increase actually exempts families that earn less than...wait for it...

    $250,000.

    That's a LOT of families...

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