I used one of the early voting centers so that I could get it out of the way and have my Tuesday free on the off-chance that I wind up spending the day as a reporter-type person trying to figure out how other people are voting.
YET THE HONEST truth is that the people I will be focusing on are NOT the bulk of our society.
For most of us are going to sit on our duffs and do nothing. If anything, the bulk of us will get irritated at the presence of elections, and act as though they ought not to take place at all.
Now I have made this argument before – and I suspect I will make it repeatedly for as long as I live. Those people who don’t vote are allowing government to run roughshod over them.
A good part of the reason I insist on casting a ballot (even in an election cycle like this one where the posts up for grabs were of no interest to anyone who didn’t live in my immediate community) is that I believe I am ensuring my right to complain for the next four years.
PEOPLE WHO CAN’T be bothered to cast a ballot really have no right to gripe!
So for the at least 80 percent of people who don’t bother to vote on Tuesday (the estimates are that, at best, 20 percent of the electorate will cast ballots), I don’t really want to hear your complaints.
You have your chance on Tuesday to have a say over how those local officials will spend your local tax dollars, and how all those local school districts and park boards and sanitary districts and other entities will operate – and you chose to remain silent!
Now having said that, I do realize that for many people, there isn’t much of a choice come this particular Election Day.
THE REALITY IS that in too many of those suburban communities, there is a local political establishment that tries to operate in as much anonymity as possible – and there isn’t any opposition.
In some cases, no one else could be bothered to challenge the incumbents. Not because of any real satisfaction, but because of apathy.
While in other places, local officials know how to game the electoral process to eliminate anyone who had the “gall” (in the incumbents’ opinion) to challenge them.
|Is this what it takes to get people to vote?|
And within Chicago proper, this is the election cycle where nothing is at stake – with the exception of those who live in the Far South Side and will be picking a replacement for Jesse Jackson, Jr., to represent them in Congress.
EVEN THERE, THE real election cycle came back in the special primary election held in February. Tuesday is likely the night that one-time state Rep. and Cook County CAO Robin Kelly gets rubber-stamped to go to Washington.
We can speculate all we want about the possibility of a long-shot victory for Republican Paul McKinley or Green Party-type LeAlan Ford – yet the key to a long-shot upset electoral victory is candidate interest.
Yet even so, I still felt compelled to cast my ballot. Like I said, I like to be able to complain about the status quo. Which in this case constitutes a rant about the bulk of people who on Tuesday seemed to only have interest in ignoring the fact that it is Election Day.