Making Your Vote Count -- for You!
Uncle Sam Wants You (to Vote)
Voter Casts a Paper Ballot
With Election Day coming hard upon us, our thoughts turn to candidates, political parties and issues -- and to insuring we find our way to the polls on Tuesday.
Exercising the privilege of voting helps insure the survival of our democracy, and all of us should feel compelled to fulfill that civic responsibility.
Voter turnout, however, is woefully inadequate in the United States, which falls far behind other democracies, especially in years when there's no presidential election race to inspire -- or inflame -- the electorate.
'They're All Liars'
You often hear people attempting to justify staying at home on Election Day by declaring that their vote "makes no difference" or "they're all the same" or, worse, "they're all liars."
While we all feel that way sometimes, it's certainly counterproductive and unwise to act on such emotions. If you look at it with a level head, you'll soon realize that it's far less likely government will behave as you'd like if you walk away from your responsibility.
When you reach voting age and register to vote, no one tells you how you must vote or even what you should consider in choosing a candidate. Each citizen decides for himself whether he wants to cast his vote in support of a political party and its candidates or for individuals seeking office, regardless of party.
Single Issue Voters
What's most important? A single critical issue, such as abortion, or a series of issues, such as the economy, Social Security, health care, job security or something more personal, like, "Am I doing better now than one, two or four years ago?"
Sure, it's important how we vote. But, in a democracy, it's crucial that we simply cast a ballot. The more ballots cast, the less candidates can use undue influence to affect the outcome of the election.
I always advocate the two-party system and, thus, believe it is important for the stability of our country to vote either Democratic or Republican. I admit it isn't always easy: Others, of course, vote for what they feel is most important.
I feel strongly that President Clinton is doing a good job and, despite bogus impeachment charges against him, he should remain in office.
For that reason, recent comments by (Connecticut Senators) Chris Dodd and Joe Lieberman about the president were disconcerting; they appeared gratuitous and politically inspired. Why would Democrats want to disparage their own party's president when Republicans already are doing a pretty good job of it?
I'm a Democrat, but I'm not always enamored of Democratic candidates. I remain unhappy, for instance, with (Connecticut) Attorney General Richard Blumenthal. I didn't like the way he handled a complaint I once had about the Lotto; also he seems a bit too ambitious.
Vote Your Party
But voting for another party's candidates is counterproductive; any Democrat, even one I'm unhappy with, will vote more to my liking than any Republican.
Unless one of those asteroids decides to show up in the next two days, I'll be at the polls on Tuesday.
I wrote this column as a "My View" for //////the Hour newspaper of Norwalk, Conn., on Oct. 31, 1998. I now write my views on a wide variety of topics on HubPages.