Please don’t be like this Egyptian engineer. ”I don't want either one, so I am not going to vote." *^
For the roughly five months this column has been running, this Examiner has griped about the quality of choices (or perhaps more accurately the lack of quality choices) being inflicted on the American people for this coming presidential election. It is no wonder half of the people don’t vote. That of course means whoever wins is really being elected by a minority of Americans.
Unfortunately the decision not to vote is at least as bad as the choices we face. And that applies to the Egyptians as well.
Those who think Obama is too liberal haven’t seen anything once he’s not constrained by having another election to win. If you like what he stands for and want more, or think he’s not as bad as Romney, vote for him.
Those who think Romney is too liberal or too conservative or too whatever, should remember he will feel constrained by having to face re-election in 2016. They seem to forget Romney is too much of a Republican to not be regarded as offering a definite choice of futures for our nation. Romney is the only viable alternative to Obama so vote for him instead of complaining he's too this or not enough that.
This election can be viewed as many things. However, it is first a referendum on Obama and how the voting public thinks he has handled and is likely to handle the economy.
Those who don’t vote, accomplish at least two things. They:
A) Throw away the sacrifices of those who we commemorate this week-end; and
B) Lose their right to gripe about how horrible things are because they are ceding their share of responsibility to others. They are like people who do not buy lottery tickets then complain about not winning or remark on what they could have done with the winnings.
There is also the problem that “electorate indifference,” as Meagan correctly calls it in the accompanying cartoon strip, which can lead to less voting in all the other important elections being held the same day. And they are important even if the candidate or issue is not President of The United States.
The worst outcome for the country would be if the party that wins The White House also wins both houses of Congress. Our system of government works best if the president’s party does not control Congress. At minimum the party not controlling the presidency should control at least one house of Congress. Preferably that should be the Senate because only the Senate has the power to “advise and consent” on critical appointments and treaties. That is called “checks and balances” and is almost always superior to one party or point of view running roughshod over others.
*^This is the essence of a quote in today’s (May 26, 2012) online New York Times. Below is the full headline and link to the article.
QUOTATION OF THE DAY –
"It is a shock. I don't want either one, so I am not going to vote."
AHMED KABANY, an engineer, on the upcoming Egyptian election for president, in which a hardline Islamist is facing off against an authoritarian former general.