Don’t “Rock The Vote”

Posted: June 11, 2010 in Current Events, Politics
Tags: , , , ,

The thing that has always bothered me about “Rock The Vote” campaigns, and those like them, is the overemphasis on showing up to the polls and the underemphasis of showing up to the polls educated about the things you are about to vote on.  Because quite frankly, it is better to not vote at all than to vote on people or things that you have no clue about.  Also unfortunate is that I believe a good many people believe that you have to vote for every single thing on the ballot or your vote will not be counted.  This is simply not true, you can vote in as many or few of the races/issues as you feel comfortable doing so.  In the Alabama primary, I only voted in three races.  Why should I cast a vote in a race where I either was not educated or was indifferent about the candidates and cancel out a vote from somebody who was educated or had a reason to prefer one candidate or the other?

Beside, if you are not educated, you never know exactly who you are voting for.  It just might be a murderer.  No, that really happened.  His name was Byron “Lowtax” Looper and he was the Republican nominee on the Tennessee ballot for state senate in 1998.  The first clue that this guy was a little off his rocker was that he officially had his middle name changed to “Lowtax”.  But while a little out there, at least nobody got hurt with that.  When it became obvious to Looper that he was going to lose to his Democratic opponent, he did the logical thing.  Wait, I mean the insane thing.  He shot and killed his opponent.

As it turned out, there was some method to his madness.  Tennessee law required that if a candidate died within 30 days of an election, that candidate must be removed from the ballot.  So Looper figured he would make sure his opponent died, be unopposed on election day, and cruise to victory.  The perfect crime!  Of course as you all can tell by now, this guy wasn’t exactly a genius.  So before he killed his opponent, he had driven by the scene of the where the crime would take place several times, and a witness saw him speeding by after he committed the act.  When word got out, both parties threw their support behind the dead candidate’s widow in a write-in campaign.

Looper’s ploy did not work, as the widow won.  But still, Looper did receive over 1,500 votes even though you can imagine what kind of media attention all of this was getting.  I can’t imagine that 1,500 people actually supported a murderer for a spot in the state senate.  These voters simply did not know, but for whatever reason felt compelled to vote anyway.  So even though it didn’t impact this election, what other races did these 1,500 people vote in?  Where they any better educated for those?  Did those votes change any outcomes?

This brings me to South Carolina.  This past Tuesday a gentleman by the name of Alvin Greene won the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate.  He did so pretty easily, with 60% of the vote.  Oh, and he’s unemployed.  And as far as anyone knows, he did not spend a dime on his campaign.  Frankly as far as anyone knows, he may have never left his house.  Plus he is facing felony pornography charges for approaching a young woman on a college campus and showing her pics of people having sex.  If you see an interview with him, it takes all of 15 seconds to realize that he simply has no business representing anyone for anything, much less serving as a representative in the U.S. Senate.  Here, judge for yourself:

Yet not only does he run for nomination, he wins.

This guy is so bad, it has been suggested that he may have been a Republican plant.  But even if that’s the case, he still had to get more votes than his opponent.  So it has been suggested that he won because, get this, his name was first on the ballot!  Seriously.  If a guy can win simply because he is listed first on the ballot, that indicates a pretty serious flaw in the process, don’t you think?

So if you ever are at the ballot box and you are looking at the ballot and thinking about selecting somebody simply because they are listed first, please do us all a favor and leave that one blank.  And if you do not have any more rationale to voting in any of the races/issues than that, don’t “Rock The Vote”.  Stay home!

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