Voter Turnout

This week’s midterm elections were significant for several reasons. Voters throughout the country passed a large number of important ballot initiatives and the Republican party has firmly taken charge of Congress. However, by far the most significant (and the most distressing) news story to come out of this election is that the voter turnout across the board was extremely low, and in fact set record lows in several states. Across the nation, only 36.6% of eligible voters went through the effort to have their say in the future of our country. This low voter turnout is a sign of everything that is going wrong with the United States.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the 2014 midterm elections cost America a total of $3.7 billion. Despite pouring this truly monstrous amount of wealth into efforts to frighten, cajole, or browbeat Americans into getting out and voting for various candidates, nearly two thirds of eligible Americans were unable to work up the enthusiasm or motivation to actually head down to their local voting station and participate. Now, midterm election voter turnouts are always lower than they are in Presidential election years, but there is clearly a serious problem when so many of our fellow Americans are refusing to participate in our democracy.

So, why aren’t Americans voting? The common wisdom is that Americans, especially young Americans under 30, are apathetic. It is claimed that they simply don’t care what happens, don’t pay attention to politics, and are too lazy to get out and vote once every two years. I believe that this idea is missing the forest for the trees. American-style democracy is fundamentally flawed, and has left huge numbers of American citizens without any real form of representation in our government.

Across the country, people have spent the last few decades watching their lives and the lives of their loved ones become worse and worse. Years of policy and laws from both the Republicans and the Democrats have eroded the middle class and the services all working people depend on in favor of tax cuts and benefits for the very wealthiest. No matter which party is in power, Americans have learned the lesson that the government never has their interests at heart. Instead, the whole power and focus of the government is devoted to finding new ways to funnel what little wealth the Middle Class still possesses into the bank accounts of attorneys and Wall Street bankers.

Is it any wonder that Americans are feeling disenfranchised by our current system? Why would anyone bother to get out and vote when they can plainly see that, no matter the outcome of the election, their interests are not going to be represented at any level of government? Our political system has abandoned any pretense of being government “of the people, by the people, for the people” and is now transparently only for the rich and for Wall Street. Why does it surprise us that so many of our fellow Americans have lost interest in a game in which they have no stake?

This is not a state of affairs that can be allowed to continue. The health of our nation and our democracy depends on the full participation of the American people. The fact that so many of our countrymen and women feel like they have been excluded from our political process is deeply shameful, and our nation’s Founders would be shocked and horrified to see how far we have fallen. America needs radical change. We need and end to this DemoRepublican system that has disenfranchised all but the rich. We need leaders who are willing and able to take responsibility for overhauling the system and bringing our nation back to health. I am ready to stand up and fight for this country. If you are as well, then please join me in 2016 by casting your write-in vote for Art Drew for President of the United States.

One thought on “Voter Turnout”

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