Reasons to vote Nov. 4

To the editor: Our forefathers fought taxation without representation to found this nation. Are you represented? Today, some complain theyre not, since our (and their) government doesnt always obey them. In protest, they boycott elections to teach government a lesson. Does it sit up and take notice? Can it? Think about it. Officeholders only really know they were elected by people agreeing with them. Registered Democrats and independents outnumber Republicans even around here. Polls show we can win this year! Historically though, Republicans have tended to show up more loyally to vote. Extending this: when enough non-Republicans stay home, Republicans win, though narrowly. That practically guarantees decision-making by a minority of potential voters! Their strategys involved, less getting out the vote than keeping down the (total) vote. Its ranged from: ridiculing office-seekers for favoring middle class majorities, through interfering with their voting, down to outright intimidation. It has worked. In 1994, tired after working that cold gray November off-year-election Tuesday, a majority of registered eligible voters stayed home. About 39 percent of the total voter pool decided that close election. Of all who could have voted, 20 percent made the winning decision. Was that democratic? Republicans won, but that congress represented one-fifth of us. It valiantly tried representing the non-participants, but how could it know? How can they know what you want, without your telling them? Who can represent non-voting voters? For representation, be sure and vote. You still may not get absolutely everything you want, but more than by staying away. Neither candidate may be perfect. Who is? But surely theyre not equally imperfect. How can democratic choices be, usually, better than the greater of two partial goods? Clear, simple choices seldom exist in real life, but choices we dont make are made for us. Give America a break! Take that break and vote! David E. Manwell Beekmantown

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