Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Voting sucks, but you gotta do it

If you check my voter registration form, it will show that I am affiliated with the Kelly Party — it’s a party of one.

Back in high school, when I filled out that form, I thought it was pretty funny, but now I feel kind of guilty. Don’t get me wrong, the Kelly Party is trying its best to return the United States back into the hands of the modest working-man, but for right now, we’re taking a laissez-faire approach to the issues.

I’ve recently been feeling a need to get involved with political issues and the 2016 election, not because I think my vote can make a positive impact on the country but rather that it might keep the less horrible man or woman out of the White House.

The idea of the United States democratic republic started as essentially this: Not everyone is fit to run a country, which is why we need our most righteous citizens making the executive decisions for us.

I hardly think total righteousness exists anymore in the government, so it’s up to us as Americans to pick the candidate we think will do the less of a terrible job as president.

Matt Stone and Trey Parker, creators the television show “South Park,” have the most spot-on interpretation of this sentiment.

In an episode of the show, South Park Elementary must change their mascot from a cow to something new. The two choices are a giant douche and turd sandwich.

Main character Stan Marsh sees no reason for voting at all, and he is soon exiled from South Park. At the end of the episode, Stan returns to vote and says, “I better get used to having to pick between a douche and turd sandwich because it’s usually the choice I’ll have.”

Stan’s not wrong. I’m not a diehard Republican, nor am I an entirely leftwing Democrat. I’m not voting Trump, and I’m not voting Hilldog. I do agree with most things Bernie Sanders believes, but I’m not entirely sure he can accomplish all he proposes.

That’s not to say I think voting is a stupid, meaningless concept. The United States actually has the right to choose. Compared to countries such as North Korea, Cuba and Libya, which are notorious for having rigged elections, the United States is like a paradise.

Voting is cool, but our choices tend to suck.

With this attitude, the only thing that makes sense to me is a little phrase my father likes to say — “If you don’t vote, you can’t complain.”

According to the Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, an organization that supports international democracy, the voter turnout in the 2012 presidential election was 66.66 percent.

That means 1/3 of registered voters do not even care who wins.

In the 2013 parliamentary elections in Australia, the voter turnout was 93.23 percent.

That’s not to say Australia is better than the United States, but its citizens seem to care a whole lot more about who runs their country.

With numbers such as 66.66 percent, no wonder we have the NSA tapping our phones and only 56 percent of college students graduating.

Maybe if citizens put more thought into who becomes the most powerful person in the free world, our country might actually start making some good changes.

If people showed any interest, the government would be less inclined to push the common man around.

It’s like a high school bully — stand up to them and show that you matter. Soon they’ll respect you.

People need to start caring about their votes, and then maybe our choices won’t just be between a douche and a turd.

Email Griffin Kelly at opinions@cardinalpointsonline.com

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