On the importance of your vote

Kirk Ross gets to the meat of the matter:

If you’re having trouble mustering that belief in self-governing and are still determined to withhold your vote, consider for a minute that you might not be voting for just you. Because you’re not. One person, one vote doesn’t translate to “my vote.” It means a lot more than that.

Of course you vote for yourself, but you also vote for everyone who can’t. In Orange County that includes the roughly 30,000 people under 18, six thousand of whom are age 5 or younger. It includes students from abroad studying at the university, people in prison, those too ill to vote, the undocumented and the dreamers and everyone you know who died this year who would have stepped up.

Over the years, I’ve always considered those who engage in the system and cast votes to be responsible. But in recent years, I’ve come to consider those who don’t vote to be not just disengaged from the system and aloof, but patently irresponsible for their lack of concern. That may be an effect of immersing myself daily in political issues and exploring the long-term consequences of poor leadership, but I can’t help it. Once you know, you can’t un-know. So the challenge is (and always has been), getting those other people to know.

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