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No reason not to vote

Letter to the Editor | Thursday, October 30, 2008

Mr. McKeon (“More reasons not to vote,” Oct. 15),

I can only hope that your letter is some kind of joke or satire, but I did not pick up on the humor. Whether it is sarcastic or sincere, your letter delivers a very destructive message to those who do not possess what I hope is simply your high-functioning wit.

You dismiss the American system of government as “garbage,” and you quote stand-up comedians as authorities on the matter. Surely if you were serious, you would have cited more qualified commentators of politics. You state that you do not vote, but that you do not discourage others from voting. I see, however, no other purpose in your letter than to encourage others to “solve this political dilemma” as you have by not voting.

There are admittedly many glaring flaws in the American system of government, but these flaws will never be corrected by apathy and cynicism. Participation by the people is the only way to repair defects in American democracy. You may argue that American democracy does not work, but democracy, by its nature, does not work if voters do not participate. If you disapprove of the candidates, show your dissatisfaction by voting for a third-party candidate. The third party won’t win the election, of course, but by voting for a minor candidate, you show your dissatisfaction.

The right to vote and to have a voice – however small it may be – in government is a right held dearly by millions of Americans. If you do not value that right, do not insult those who do by encouraging political apathy among your peers. You have chosen not to exercise your right to vote; please feel free not to exercise your right of free speech, as well.

Eddie Guilbeau


Duncan Hall

Oct. 18