Please — Don’t vote!
I know I am not allowed to say things like this. Oh well, if we are to ever revive common sense, we will have to shed the blood of a few sacred cows.
Maybe I am the only one weary of bleeding hearts imploring the masses to vote. “No matter who you vote for,” they say, “it is so important to please-please-please exercise your right to vote.”
Well, no, it isn’t. If you need cajoling, pampering and special care to make sure you don’t go out of your way to register and vote, maybe the country would be better off if you stay home.
Perhaps I am alone in rolling my eyes at motor-voter laws requiring easy voter registration where every driver goes for a driver’s license.
The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) was a great bleeding heart victory to grease the skids for those finding it too troublesome to register to vote the old fashioned way, which is easier nowadays anyway by Internet downloadable forms. Out of the many millions registered by NVRA, less than 5 percent actually vote, thereby creating more problems than it solves.
The NVRA imposes requirements making it difficult for states to purge “deadwood,” people who have died or moved to another state. Some states now have more voters registered than they have voting age residents. Both the registered deadwood and live and present registered non-voters are an invitation to potential fraudulent voting in person, especially in states that don’t require photo ID, or in all states by absentee ballot.
And yet some hearts seek ways to make things even easier for the downtrodden unregistered voter. Maybe we could offer voter registration at McDonald’s drive-through windows to minimize disruption to anyone’s day.
I have a contrary attitude. If you are too dang lazy to register to vote, please sleep as late as you wish on Nov. 6 and don’t sully the process that should be reserved for serious people.
I wonder if Democrats are still doing what was routine in the 1990s in New Jersey, using fists full of cash called “walking around money” distributed by the campaign to round up idle people on a bus and pay them to ride to the polls and vote for the favored candidate destined to save the world.
I don’t know if Republicans did that too because Democrats there were pretty much in charge, but I wouldn’t doubt it since dirty tricks squeeze through the tinniest crack in uncontrolled hardball politics.
Maybe new photo ID laws will help minimize those scams, even if nothing short of Ghostbusters can stop the tradition of dead people voting in Chicago.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder recently preached to the NAACP choir in Texas, vilifying voter photo ID laws, saying that requiring such identification is a resurrection of “Jim Crow” and “poll taxes” designed to keep minorities from voting. What a racist and oppressive idea, he implied, to ask people to prove who they are in order to vote.
I don’t know how anyone, much less an Attorney General, can keep a straight face while spouting such pandering rubbish. Apparently it escaped Holder’s notice that a photo ID was required to gain entrance to hear his speech.
As we all know, a photo ID is required to open any account, for banking transactions, to gain access to government buildings, to rent a movie, to take exams, to purchase Sudafed at the pharmacy and so on. Flying from anywhere to, say, Chicago, requires showing photo ID a dozen times before boarding an aircraft.
If you are so uninvolved with life in America that you don’t have a photo ID, you should take steps to get one just to be ready for the daily crap the rest of us have to endure. Being able to use that photo ID to then vote would be kind of a bonus.
Of course, if you are such a dim bulb that you can’t read a calendar to anticipate voting day and do what it takes to have your photo ID by then, do us all a favor and go fishing on Nov. 6 while your fellow citizens with a more active mind put it to work making what should be important choices for our country’s future.
If you are so detached and uninterested that you need someone to knock on your door and persuade you to register to vote, I suggest you leave voting to those of us who would tear down a brick wall to get to the voting booth because we care enough to be informed and involved.
If you are not cheerfully willing to show photo ID as a minimal step to discourage voter fraud, if you consider the requirement to prove your identity at the polls to be an affront and deliberate racist attempt to prevent you from voting, I hope you have more important things to do on Nov. 6.
If you can’t be bothered to google your county’s office of elections to determine the voter registration deadline before the upcoming election, if you are not sufficiently motivated to do what it takes to register to vote and have the required ID, your vote won’t be missed. Well, at least it won’t be missed by me.
In case I have been too subtle, I am unsympathetic with people who don’t vote because they are lazy, uninterested, uninvolved, uncommitted and ignorant on the issues or candidates on the ballot. I think the voting process is far better off without them.
So, if you can be talked out of voting, please use your time to watch “Dancing With The Stars” or “The Big Bang Theory.” You will be better entertained and far less frustrated than you would be voting and trying to understand election returns. Leave the important work to the adults prepared for and up to the task.
Spare yourself. We’ll take care of it for you.
There. I feel better now.
[Terry Garlock of Peachtree City occasionally contributes a column to The Citizen. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.]