While I agree that we could make it more convenient for people to vote, such as online voting or having the polls open on weekends, people will still make more excuses as to why they do not go to the polls. This reason people don’t vote can be linked to hamburgers. Got your attention? Read on.
Millions of us vote daily without even realizing it. We vote for our favorite restaurants, clothing stores, day care providers, or plumbers by researching and judging their businesses. For example, it’s lunchtime and you want a hamburger. You choose or vote for the place you want to get your burger fix amongst the likes of McDonald’s, Five Guys or Appalachian Brewing Company. Each time you visit one of these three places, the level of service that you receive and/or the quality of the burger you eat determines whether you will go back to them the next time your tummy growls. You become invested in those establishments and hold them accountable. If a burger is bad, you will talk to the server or the manager. You may also post a story on Facebook about your bad eating experience. If the burger is great tasting, you will tweet to your little hearts content informing your followers about the best burger in town.
These “votes” you make each day when selecting goods and services correctly sets the price of these same goods and services, based upon the competitive market. Similarly, your “voting” keeps these goods and services honorable and just. Over time, these businesses will compete for your business and change things in order to keep you satisfied. If there were no competition in the marketplace, we would be stuck with, let’s say McDonalds, as the only place to buy a hamburger. And if McDonalds were the only place to eat a burger, there would be no such thing as the dollar menu. McDonalds would be free to set the price of the burger along with the quality of beef it serves as they see fit. McDonalds would become boring and only frequented by those customers who truly want a burger and are willing to pay for it. McDonald's would be in charge and have the power. Likewise, the lack of competition in local elections has forced the electorate to choose between only one candidate (or burger). No choice leads to apathy. Apathy leads to non-action. Non-Action leads to control of the electorate by the parties. And that is OK with them.
Local committee people have told me that only they are the ones that can truly choose the candidates for us in the primary election because they take the time to vet the candidates. However, this vetting process is hidden from the public eye. Let’s put it another way. The committees are choosing the best hamburger for you based upon their preferences and choices regardless of public opinion and societal trends. Like it or not, they pick your burger. If they like a burger medium-well, then so be it because they know what is best for you.
We are not apathetic about how we spend money on goods, services and yes, even cheeseburgers. Yet, most of the eligible and even registered voters are apathetic when it comes to getting engaged in the voting process. We care more about the cost and quality of a burger than we do about the quality and cost of our government. The electorate pays more interest in spending money on a burger than it does on electing people to office that spend our tax money with little oversight. And the parties and their leadership are perfectly fine with that practice continuing to occur.
Only when potential, eligible votes gets engaged in the issues around them, will they first register to vote. The first step or bite of the burger will lead them to researching the candidates. Once they have vetted the candidates (burgers) that are competing, they will then go to the polls on a Tuesday during a work week in late spring or late fall and vote because they will have become invested in the process. If there are not multiple candidates (or burgers), they will demand more competition in the primaries from the parties. You know what scares the local parties? An educated first time voter who realizes that they can make a difference.
When citizens give their elected politicians, governments and their parties carte blanche by not voting or even caring, they are reducing competition. And in today’s world, the parties do limit competition. We love competition in the burger industry so why not in the political arena?
It’s time we change that premise. Its time that you get involved. Get invested. Have skin in the game like you do when choosing a hamburger. Have the courage to step out and support a candidate who will not be beholden to the party line but to society’s best interests.
The journey to increasing voter turnout begins with the first bite (of the burger).
Believe.Act.Serve, like Jesus did.
Reedy is (getting ready)
New Republican leadership is needed