Off-year elections, even when they revolve around issues in our own backyards, are rarely well—attended.
Yet it is these very contests which will determine who decides where parks will go, what developments will be approved, if streets will get paved and the like.
It’s nothing new that citizens will neglect to vote, choosing instead to just complain year after year.
But we can each determine not to join that particular, non-exclusive club, and drag a few stalwart members to the polls with us, hopefully breaking a trend.
Here are some thoughts by others:
Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.
A man without a vote is a man without protection.
—Lyndon B. Johnson
Half of the American people never read a newspaper. Half never voted for President. One hopes it is the same half.
The average man votes below himself; he votes with half a mind or a hundredth part of one. A man ought to vote with the whole of himself, as he worships or gets married. A man ought to vote with his head and heart, his soul and stomach, his eye for faces and his ear for music; also (when sufficiently provoked) with his hands and feet. If he has ever seen a fine sunset, the crimson color of it should creep into his vote. The question is not so much whether only a minority of the electorate votes. The point is that only a minority of the voter votes.
—Gilbert K. Chesterton
The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.
—John F. Kennedy
Vote for the man who promises least; he’ll be the least disappointing.
—Bernard M. Baruch
Voters don’t decide issues, they decide who will decide issues.
—George F. Will
Your every voter, as surely as your chief magistrate, exercises a public trust.
General Motors, General Mills, General Foods, general ignorance, general apathy, and general cussedness elect presidents and congressmen and maintain them in power.
—Herbert M. Shelton
The ruling power is always faced with the question, ‘In such and such circumstances, what would you do?’, whereas the opposition is not obliged to take responsibility or make any real decisions.
A farmer friend of mine told me recently about a busload of middle school children who came to his farm for a tour.
The first two boys off the bus asked, “Where is the salsa tree?”
They thought they could go pick salsa, like apples and peaches.
What do they put on SAT tests to measure this? Does anybody care? How little can a person know about food and still make educated decisions about it? Is this knowledge going to change before they enter the voting booth? Now that’s a scary thought.
― Joel Salatin
One of the reasons people hate politics is that truth is rarely a politician’s objective. Election and power are.
A vote is like a rifle: its usefulness depends upon the character of the user.
When widely followed public figures feel free to say anything, without any fact-checking, it becomes impossible for a democracy to think intelligently about big issues.
—Thomas L. Friedman
If we got one-tenth of what was promised to us in these acceptance speeches there wouldn’t be any inducement to go to heaven.
Every two years the American politics industry fills the airwaves with the most virulent, scurrilous, wall-to-wall character assassination of nearly every political practitioner in the country — and then declares itself puzzled that America has lost trust in its politicians.