WHY IS IT GOOD FOR EVERYONE TO VOTE?
I have been amazed that almost universally it is considered the optimum situation for as many people to vote as possible. Why is this? Time after time, in man-in-the-street interviews, the vast majority of people know little if anything upon which to base an intelligent vote. Activists for the political parties transport people to the polls and hand them "sample ballots" with their party's candidates on them.
Hundreds of years ago, one had to be a landowner to vote. While these folks had a physical stake in what went on, the masses were disenfranchised. No one would propose going back to a system where people were deprived of their right to vote based upon wealth, skin color, or the ability to pay a poll tax.
However, we are approaching 40% or more of our nation which pays no federal tax, and these people are very susceptible to vote for people to make those who do pay taxes pay even more. That is the tyranny of democracy warned about at the foundation of our country, and it why we were formed as a republic, and not a democracy. The electoral college was formed as a result of many debates on the issue.
The net result of having open polls, few safeguards against voter fraud (in Philadelphia, for instance, thousands of dead people vote in each election), and unrestricted spending by candidates out of their own money is that people with few if any qualifications to be in office can get elected and remain in office indefinitely. In some venues people vote more than once. "Snowbirds" vote in both New York and Florida.
Why is it considered good for our country if people who swallow whole propaganda and lies and have not even an elementary knowledge of civics vote? There are moves to let people with no loyalty to our country who have immigrated illegally and who don't know the language let alone the issues be allowed to vote. If enough people with no stake or demonstrated loyalty get into a majority position (which has just about happened), our country is truly doomed. That was never the intent of the founding fathers, and NO country on earth who tried that approach has ever survived.
There was no Repubican Party and no Democratic Party when our constitution was written. They do exist now, however, and they are as different as night and day, no matter the pervasive comments that they are all alike. That is not to say members of each party behave along those lines. While most votes in congress are "party-line", there are Republicans who believe more like Democrats and Democrats who believe more like Republicans. That is why I split my ballot and try to choose the best people from each major party and sometimes a minor party and not simply vote a straight ticket.
The Republican Party believes we live in a Republic, which is true. That is our founding. The wisdom of having a republic over a democracy has been proven over and over. Whether a Democrat or a Republican has been in office, our nation would not exist today if the principles of pure democracy had been practiced. Abe Lincoln became president with under 40% of the vote. The slaves would have remained slaves without his Emancipation Proclamation. Iraq would still be under Saddam if the majority ruled. We elected men of character to make decisions based upon their knowledge and wisdom, and this has proven itself superior to any other form of government. When the President panders to polls and has no real position, we run into trouble and our nation is still paying for Presidents who did not understand they governed a Republic. As a by-product, Republicans believe voting is a serious responsibility and that you should be a knowledgeable voter. They discourage people with little interest in government (other that what the government can do for them, of course) from voting.
What are the weaknesses of the Republican form of government? First, it assumes that the leader has true character. If the leader is flawed, the nation can have disastrous consequences. Second, the prejudices and biases of people can perpetutate the status quo. For a long time, things did not change. Then Lincoln made his historic decision and through other presidents such as FDR, Truman, Kennedy, and Reagan, much progress has been made. Who but FDR could have forced through the "New Deal"? Who but Reagan could have told Gorbechev to "TEAR DOWN THIS WALL"? Things either stay the same, or they can change rapidly.
The Democratic Party believes we live in a Democracy. That is why they press for everyone to vote, even convicted felons. The more the merrier. They believe that by supporting popular programs that give people money or programs, the masses will support them without regard to fiscal responsibility. That is why polls are so important to Democrats. The President is to follow the people, and not vice versa. While this system is idealized by many, the simple fact is that the majority is not always right. The majority reject Jesus as the only begotten Son of God, but that majority will be proven wrong. The majority wanted to maintain race-based policy in this country. The majority believed in segregation. The majority thought the Berlin wall would never come down or that the USSR would never be dissolved. If we had leaders who simply followed the polls, the tyranny of the majority would have prevented some of the biggest advances ever in our nation and in the world.
What are the strengths of the Democratic form of government? Change can occur VERY quickly. However, it may not be the change everyone desires. I believe the negatives far outweigh the positives. I am involved in the building industry, and when it comes time for a new project in a neighborhood, it is foolhardy to automatically listen to the majority. We never would have new highways, such as the Blue Route, which so many depend on. We would not have churches in neighborhoods because of the NIMBY's. We would have no new supermarkets. Remember in Roslyn, PA all the opposition to the Genuardi Market on Susquehanna Avenue? Thankfully LEADERSHIP took precedence over simple MAJORITY politics.
So, in conclusion, I am not the least concerned when those with no interest in government stay home. I am not concerned with those who vote selfishly stay home because it is raining. It is best for our nation when those who vote do so out of principle and out of genuine knowledge of all the issues involved.