This has to be one of the biggest no-no’s in all of politics. Saying this will automatically get you labeled as an arrogant elitist, but I am going to say it anyway – low voter turnout is not necessarily a bad thing, in fact it may even be a good thing.
Recently, a talk show host out of Charlotte,Jason Lewis was discussing the political conundrum of voter turnout. He made the statement that in general low voter turnout is a good thing. I agree with him and here is why.
At the founding of our nation, many campaigned for only allowing property owners to vote. The reason being that they have a vested intrests in what the state does. The thinking was that those who do not own property would be inclined to vote to take away property from those who had it and give it to themselves (redistributing wealth anyone?). If I own property, I am not going to vote for someone that will help the government take my land.
Of course regulations like this are misused, which lead to several amendments to the Constitution guaranteeing all citizens the right to vote (unless they give up that right through change of citizenship or their conviction of a felony). I am not arguing that we should not allow all currently qualified citizens the right to vote. Those amendments were needed and should be part of the Constitution. What I am saying is that many times the lower the voter turnout the more educated the voter (in terms of politics, I couldn’t care less about the actual educational level).
When voter turnout is high, you have many people going to their polling places who decide, if not in the booth, on the car ride to the booth, how they are going to vote in a major election. Lower voter turnout includes mostly those who are well-informed about the issues and the candidates. They will not all agree with my opinions on the issues and candidates, but that is fine with me because they took the time to research and understand who best fit their values.
I am just not sure that I want someone deciding who the next president is going to be because that guy dressed the best in the last debate or because this guy had a better campaign ad.
Everyone should have the right to vote, but not everyone should vote. If a voter is ignorant and apathetic about political issues for 3 years and 11 months and only becomes interested during October of a Presidential election year, they shouldn’t vote. That voter does not know enough about the candidates or the issues that are driving the election to cast an intelligent vote. (Again, I do not want to take their right to vote away. I will only hope they don’t choose to use that right.)
Yes, this may be an elitest position. Yes, this does come across as arrogant and condescending. But my intention is not to prevent anyone from voting, only to argue that having those Americans who are educated about issues and candidates are preferred voters over those who voted for George W. Bush because he “looked better” or for John Kerry because “tall men are better leaders.” Now, can anyone argue with that?