I understand why some folks choose to abstain from voting. With so much corruption in the system, particularly in the role that corporations and lobbyists are playing in the political process, it’s easy to see why citizens would be skeptical or cynical about the degree to which they can make a difference. Also, the older one gets, the more often one sees promises made and broken, so isn’t it naïve to think that the results of this election will be any different from the ones in the past?
The problem with dropping out is that it’s a lazy, unhelpful response to a complex problem. You may not be able to prompt the social changes you seek by voting, but if you opt out of the system entirely, your chances of making a positive impact on society are compromised even more. For example, consider the issue of the next appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court. As we’ve seen by the decision this year about the Affordable Care Act, a single Justice can make the difference between whether a law is ruled to be constitutional or not. If you don’t vote, and the candidate you oppose is elected, his appointment(s) to the Court could result in decisions you believe are wrong, and those decisions may have far-reaching effects.
Bottom line: Voting isn’t just a civic responsibility. It’s also in your own interest.
Note: This is an excerpt from an interview that will appear in the next issue of the journal, “Sacred Journey”