"When a candidate for public office faces the voters he does not face men of sense; he faces a mob of men whose chief distinguishing mark is the fact that they are quite incapable of weighing ideas, or even of comprehending any save the most elemental — men whose whole thinking is done in terms of emotion, and whose dominant emotion is dread of what they cannot understand...As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron." - H. L. Mencken
Lately, as Election Day quickly approaches, I keep running into articles such as this than emphasize how important it is to get more people to vote. While voting is indeed important, democracy only works well when the people are educated and informed, which is the exact opposite of today’s electorate, most of whom have a substandard education and receive their news and information from “infotainment.”
We don't need more people voting. We need more INFORMED people voting. If people aren't informed, they shouldn't vote. Period. Not voting may be bad, but voting when you have no idea about who or what you’re voting for is worse. Far worse! Considering that most people who don’t already vote are usually uninformed to begin with, it’s probably best to keep them away from the voting booths.
So to counter all the overtly-jingoistic polemics explaining why every “red-blooded, honest-working, God-fearing American” needs to perform their scared civic duty and vote, allow me to provide my own handy-dandy guide listing reasons why people should not vote:
•If you have no grasp of the current political issues, or have no opinion of them, you should not vote!
•If you do not know what the current political candidates stand for, you should not vote!
•If you know more about your favorite celebrity than your local or state politicians, you should not vote!
•If your only reason for voting for a politician is because of the letter next to their name (R or D), and you plan on voting for every candidate with that same letter down the line, you should not vote!
•If your only reason for voting for a politician or party is because your family and friends are voting for them, you should not vote!
•If your only reason for voting for a politician or party is because of one issue they support (i.e.: you are a one-issue voter), you should not vote!
•If you are voting for a politician because you accept what they say at face value without doing any research for yourself, you should not vote!
•If you get most of your "news" from cable news channels (CNN/MSNBC/Fox), you should not vote!
•If you lack a basic understanding of even the most basic economic principles (i.e.: supply and demand), you should not vote!
•If you cannot name one Constitutional amendment other than the First or Second, you should not vote!
•If you lack an overall basic understanding of how our government and political process works, you should not vote!
Overall, if you simply are not that well-informed about politics, then you are better off not voting. Please!
If none of these points apply to you, then feel free to go out and perform your civic duty this November. But if one of these points describes you to a tee, please, for the love of your country, do not step anywhere near a voting booth!