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Pat Piper has made a career learning something new. As a journalist in the news business, “something new” occurs every hour so he’s becoming an expert at understanding stuff he never thought about. Learning became a common word in “Future Talk: Conversations About Tomorrow” (Warner Books), the popular book he ghostwrote with Larry King as […]

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Whining Or Winning?

By on October 9, 2014 in See It Here

If a couple of folks from Mars landed on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles today, stepped out of their spacecraft, gave a finger (or whatever they call it) to the honking horns because of blocked traffic, grabbed a Starbucks Latte and then asked a few people, “how do you like Congress?” the horns would stop honking and there’d be a chorus of “Congress sucks.” I’m told the same thing would happen if they landed in Boise, Idaho or Michigan City, Indiana or even Phoenix where people see spacemen almost every single day. By the way, they’re pissed our Mars Rover on their planet’s surface is ruining the landscape they’ve worked so hard to protect.

In just a few weeks, every seat in the House of Representatives and 36 seats in the Senate are available for someone other than the incumbent to occupy.  It’s called midterm elections, occurring on Tuesday, November 4th. This is the day people vote.

Guess what?

After all the social media bad-mouthing and the television pundits in their gray suits going on ad nauseam about Congress being a bunch of clowns who can’t agree on anything other than what days to take off, only 4 in 10 eligible voters will take the time to vote.

Anyone see a problem here?

One might conclude that in this world of so much available information just a click away or just a remote control away, that voter turnout could at least hit 50%. Nope.

Here are the favorite excuses:

I don’t have time. This is used all the time and based on the fact there is no interest in doing it. Think about this the next time someone says “I’d love to get together but (yep, fill the blank).” That’s complete nonsense. If you really wanted to, then you would,

I don’t know who’s running. You know what? Syria’s Bashar al-Assad just got re-elected last June with 90% of the vote for another 7-year term spreading peace and joy throughout his country. With no food, and lots of bombs bombs people made it to the polls. Assad even had two challengers who, last I looked, were still alive.  Now, it can be argued that Syrians went to the polls because a guy had a gun pointed at their head and I can’t dispute this but they did so and a few even voted for those whose name was not “Assad”. So let’s go to France in 2012 where there were no guns: 71.2% of the voting population went to the polls. If you’re making lists, 58 countries have a higher turnout than the United States–a place where anyone over age 18 can vote and where we beat our chests every other day about having this valuable freedom.

My vote won’t make a difference. Remember Al Gore and George W. Bush in 2000? 537,000 votes separated them. That’s 10,740 people per state who didn’t vote. In 2012, Rodney Davis was elected in Illinois’s 13th Congressional District by a margin of 1,002 votes. I rest my case.

We’ve become lazy and a democracy requires participation to function. I’m trying not to lecture here because we do have the freedom also to say “F-it” and watch a rerun of CSI Miami. Only problem is we also face a rerun of the highly-esteemed and respected 2014 Congress.

Since I speak with aliens all the time, I’ve been told they want to come back in 2016 and ask the same question. On Mars, they say whining has always been the easy part.  Political pundit Larry Sabot echoes this idea: “Every election is determined by the people who show up.”

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