Loss of Freedom Through ApathyWe do have freedom in this country but we simply choose to ignore it. We livein a democracy, the most just kind of government, where we the people holdsupreme power.
It is an institution that is a culmination of revolutions, wars,philosophies and heroes. It is the greatest and proudest government in theworld. One reason for this is that Americans have a right citizens of Iraq andChina and North Korea only dreamed they could have. It took one of the greatestmilitary epics in history for our Founding Fathers to receive this right.
Ittook the marching of thousands for women to achieve this right. It took 400years of abuse for blacks to finally to win this right. It is the highest andpurest form of freedom of speech and as Americans it is our single most powerfulinstrument of self government. It is the American vote and in this Presidentialelection it is a right 250 million chose to ignore. This year I had the great opportunity to volunteer my services to the Democraticparty. I was excited to work for the Democrats because it was my first everexperience involved with the election.Order now
For 17 years I stood as a commonbystander to this great American tradition. Volunteering my hours made me feellike I was part of something important. Mostly my work consisted of random polling. I would call people up between thehours of 7 and 9 P. M. and ask them a few questions about the election.
Withevery call I hoped for the best, but it seemed that I was calling people at thetime they were most irritable. Most would simply hang up, leaving with a polite”Oh, I’m not interested. ” Others acted militantly to my calling, slamming thephone in disgust. It startled and in a way disheartened me, the way many of thepeople I polled seemed totally apathetic to the political world around us. Tome, spending a minute answering questions about the future of politics did notseem like too much to ask at all. Yet it continued.
“Hello I’m calling on behalf of your congressman Bob Toricelli. I’d like to aska few questions. “”I’m sorry I’m really busy right now. I can’t talk.
” *click”Hello I’m calling on behalf of your congressman Bob Toricelli. I’d like to aska few questions. “”Not interested” *click”Hello I’m calling on behalf of your congressman Bob Toricelli. I’d like to aska few questions.
“”I’m tired of hearing about this election. ” *clickIf I was calling from a telephone company or some other corporate monsterdisturbing people with their propaganda, I could understand how their sheerrudeness could be justified. But I am not calling on behalf of some annoyingtelemarketing scheme. I am an eager high school student with a freshinfatuation with politics. I am polling people about the leader of tomorrow,who will directly affect the taxes they spend, the wars they go into, and themoral values that they seem to hold so dear.
To take a minute did not seem likea lot. In this past election over 52% of the population eligible to vote did not. Manydon’t find anything particularly wrong with this. Their logic being that halfof the nation voting would be just as effective as the entire nation.
Theproblem with this reasoning is that some groups in America vote in largernumbers than other groups. Take for example the elderly in this country. It has been well documented thatsenior citizens above 60 have the highest voter turn-out of any age group inthis country. Both Presidential candidates this year have appealed strongly formedical reforms with this group especially in mind. For Politicians this is thegroup that can make or break their election hopes.
They will do whatever ittakes to please this group, even if it means stepping all over another group toplease them. In contrast the age bracket with the lowest voter turn-out are new votersbetween 20 and 29. This “X” generation of voters will have their rap musiccensored for being too explicit and their action films for being too violent. The Internet that this generation seems to embrace so dearly will be censoredby the telecommunications bill and its television programming will includelittle ratings on the top left of their screens. Politicians will have noproblem abusing the rights of this Generation X because simply put, they don’tgo our and vote.
In this way the government pays more attention to the elderly as compared to theyoung. They will care more about the trials and tribulations of the rich andmiddle-class rather than the suffering of the poor. They will support the N. R. A. with it s sinful operations because yes, each and every one of their 2.
5 millionmembers vote. The vote determines who has the power in this country. It is notnecessarily the majority. It is those who are dedicated. America is the land of the free.
Too many Americans take this for granted. Weare not a monarchy. We are not a communism. We are not a dictatorship. We area democracy and the people have the control. We are different from all theother types of government because the voices that govern us are our own.
Butwhen 250 million do not vote, who has the right to say that we controlourselves? When half chooses to hold their mouths, who is to say that we arenot a nation of special interests who do not hold their mouths? We have freedom,but it is apathy that is taking it away from us. We have that control we simplydon’t use it.