At our latest Primary Election, when pulling up to park my car at the school where I have been voting for many years, if it weren't for the campaign signs that lined the street curbs, I would have thought I had the wrong date. It looked like a Voters Ghost Town. The election officials and campaign volunteers significantly outnumbered the people who came to vote. The campaign volunteers held packets of their candidates' literature that were never handed out.
Are you a complainer? Do you complain about the same things every day? Do you add your two cents to a conversation you hear others talking about? Well, what are you actually doing about it? You may very well have some good points, ideas and intentions. But again, what are you doing to change whatever you're complaining about for the better? There's a pretty good chance your answer is nothing! So what's a good, easy, effective and convenient way you can put money where your mouth is?
It was disappointing to see such a terrible turnout. No waiting. No long lines. No positive energy. And no excitement about picking our leaders of the future. Later that evening, when listening for the final results and calculations of how many of us actually voted, I started the process of finally accepting the fact, our country has entered an era that spells the beginning of the end for our great civilization. I know that sounds pretty harsh, but where are we really headed?
Most of us have "heard it all" and rightfully so. We don't have confidence that our elected leaders are really going to find a way to solving our problems. And this obviously leads to the lethargic attitudes of, "Why bother going to vote? It won't make a difference either way." "If I vote, one vote won't make a difference." "And if I do vote, it's the same old candidates that have been there for decades!" With the Democrat candidate for the Baltimore County Executive position being decided by only 10 votes, you might want to think again. .
But what other options do we have? Voting is still the most powerful way we can make our voices heard. And the best way to make changes. Voting is the best way for our silent majority to not be silent. And voting in a fair and free democracy is still and will always be the most precious and powerful facet of freedom of speech.
But when our fellow citizens don't vote, what are they telling us? Are they angry? Do they not care? Are they just lazy? Whatever the reason, it's not good. So what can we do about it? I can share my "method" to help get people to the voting booths: When I encounter someone complaining about our government, at the appropriate time I politely interrupt and ask, "DID YOU VOTE?" It certainly catches a lot (too many) people off guard. When they say, "No" I respond with, "Well you probably lost your best chance to do something about it by not voting." And quite frankly, when people you're not very fond of do get elected, it may be time to look in the mirror. By not voting, you're sending a message to our incumbent elected officials that everything is OK just the way it is. And when someone answers, "YES, I DID VOTE." Positively thank them and continue to listen to the conversation.
Whomever came up with the concept of the movie series, The Hunger Games, seems to have a good grasp of where we're headed. It's the concept of a divided nation run by one Capital City with military police quelling any and all protests. If we don't wake up soon, The Hunger Games, will be here before we know it.
So please vote all the time, it's certainly worth the effort.
And if you don't – you've thrown away your right to complain.