Vote or Shut Up!

One of my biggest pet peeves is people who complain about the government and politicians but can’t be bothered to vote.  My standard reply to them is if you don’t vote, shut up and stop complaining.

Allow me to explain why I feel so strongly about this.

Before we gained our independence from the British, the American colonists did not have a say in the government or how they were ruled.  Thousands of colonists gave their lives, their arms and legs and their livelihood to gain independence and the right to vote.

In 1812, thousands more Americans died or were wounded to preserve America’s freedom and the right to vote.

In World War 1 and 2, hundreds of thousands of Americans died or were wounded to defend the right to vote.

From gaining our independence to today, several million Americans have died or were wounded to secure and protect the right to vote.  When people disregard the right to vote, it’s as if they are saying that all those that sacrificed life and limb did it for nothing.  Their lives were wasted on lazy people who can’t be bothered to exercise a right that was paid for with the blood of many.

Samuel Adams, considered by many to be the Father of the American Revolution, often said that voting is one of the core responsibilities of citizenship.  In letter to James Warren, written on Feb 12, 1779, Adams wrote,

“Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual—or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.”

Therefore, I can’t urge all of you enough to get out and vote.  I would also like to strongly encourage you to tell your friends and family how important it is to get out and vote.  Offer to take them if need be.  If they aren’t registered to vote, then help to get them registered.

Did you know that you can find all of the voter registration information you need by visiting the United States Election Assistance Commission?  You can download a voter registration form, print it out, fill it in and send it via the mail without ever leaving your house.  It’s so easy that there really isn’t much of an excuse for anyone not to register.

Did you also know that one of the reasons Barack Obama and other Democrats won in 2008 is that the Democratic Party worked to get as many people registered to vote as possible.  Then they encouraged them to vote, would help drive them if necessary and to even vote via absentee ballot.  One sure fire way to help Obama get re-elected is for conservatives not to vote.

Voting is a right, a privilege and an obligation of every American.  To not exercise that right is say that you don’t care enough to cast your vote.  And if you can’t be bothered to cast your vote, then you really don’t have much of a right to complain about the government that is voted in.  So as far as I’m concerned, you have two choices:

Vote or Shut Up!