This piece is going to be to-the-point because people—me in particular—are sick of hearing about it.
Yes, like clockwork every two years, as the Tuesday after the first Monday in November approaches—this year the date is November 4th—we hear the same seemingly perpetual sermon about VOTING.
In nine days, the eligible voters in this country are SUPPOSED to go to the polls and vote. Some of us will, but it’s a mid-term election; so our numbers will fall embarrassingly short of a majority.
In fact, even during PRESIDENTIAL elections, voter turnout has historically been far short of a majority: hovering between 54% and 60%. The turnout for mid-term elections has always been much worse; depending on which set of statistics people believe, it’s ranged between 31% and 42%.
On the other hand, people who are stupid beyond description or ignorant of the issues, but simply vote for the sheer sake of voting should stay the hell HOME on election days. Here’s my reasoning.
I live in Delaware, the 49th LARGEST state in the country. Our population is about 927,000 as of 2013. Our total area is 1,982 square miles, and this includes water (about 21%).
We’re divided into THREE counties: New Castle, Kent, and Sussex—the latter is affectionately referred to by New Castle Countians as “Dog Patch.” As well, we’re also a predominately BLUE state, with the exception of the lower 15% of Kent County and most (about 95%) of Sussex County.
In terms of area, Delaware could snuggle into Pennsylvania 23.25 times, and Pennsylvania’s population is 1,278% greater than Delaware’s is. Yet, Pennsylvania’s total government footprint—at all levels—is about 20% smaller per capita.
With the exception of the State of California, I estimate that we’re strapped with more government per capita (combining ALL levels) than any other state in the nation.
Yet, like people all over the nation, we Delawareans—regardless of our counties, cities, and towns of residence—complain incessantly about too much government.
But come November 4th, virtually every incumbent in this state (federal, state, county, city, and town) will be reelected—in fact, most of them are UNOPPOSED.
The same is true at the federal level. The United States Congress (both Houses) currently has an 11% approval rating. There should be massive turnovers within both Houses of Congress. But, don’t hold your breath.
Even though the GOP may take control of the Senate, the country will be remain as politically grid-locked as it has been these past 6-years. So WHY—with a Congressional approval rating of 11 percent—will the bulk of these partisan windbags not be replaced?
It’s because we think that OUR representatives and OUR senators are doing FINE jobs; it’s the rest of the elected misfits that should be replaced. And this mentality simply blankets the collective thought processes at the state, county, and local levels.
And last but not least, let’s not overestimate the political intellect of some of the American electorate.
What follows, by NO means, qualifies as anything even remotely close to a valid scientific sampling of Delawareans’ political savvy. Nonetheless, it most definitely scared the crap out of me.
Some of my direct or indirect conversational interactions over the past two weeks with maybe 27-people—ranging in age from their early 20s to mid-70s—have absolutely convinced me that at least SOME Delawareans should stay home on November 4th.
Out of the lot of them, at least HALF had no idea that there is a national election in 9-days. Nor did most of them know who, nationally, was running or up for reelection. And ditto for the state and local offices.
One man from New Castle County was shocked to find out that he’d not be able to vote for Chris Christie. Two others—one from Kent County, the other one from south Wilmington—had no idea who Chris Coons is, let alone that he’s the current junior senator from Delaware, their HOME state.
And while there were others just as misinformed, one stood head and shoulders above all of them.
A woman from north Wilmington—late 30s to early 40s—did not know that Delaware has TWO U. S. Senators, and she didn’t think it very fair that Pennsylvania has so many U. S. Representatives while Delaware has only one, AND, she didn’t have a clue as to his name or his political party.
Just because one is ELIGIBLE to vote does NOT mean that one SHOULD vote. And we’d better soon stop encouraging eligible idiots from doing so; they’re part of the reason we keep getting the government that we deserve!