It’s time. Early voting and absentee ballots are available. For traditionalists, Tuesday Nov. 4 is only a few days away. If you are registered, there is no excuse for not voting.
Yes, we all hear the sages tell us the election is wrapped up. The party that usually wins in this or that city will win again. This county is so red (blue), there’s no chance of change. The politicians who usually run this state will triumph again. There’s no point to participating in the election.
Wrong. The only way we can see political change is to vote and to vote in massive numbers. Politicians and the money that supports them will respond to our votes. They may not listen to you and me individually, but they will listen when you and I, our neighbors, our friends and our relatives all vote.
Voting is an efficient way of participating in a bloodless revolution. It takes persistence, year after year, to effect the changes we want.
In America, voting has always been an economic as well as a political statement. From the first years of this country, economics and politics have been intertwined. We established a navy to protect our commercial shipping. We built roads and subsidized railroads to facilitate trade and open new markets and lands. Part of the fight against slavery was to protect the wages of “free” labor.
Numbers talk. But we are silenced when we do not vote. Not voting is to endorse things as they are.
Fatalism is destroying our republic. Yet many who talk patriotism do not vote because they don’t believe their votes mean anything. They are blinded by the predictions of what might be the winning or losing of elections. They never see the changes they want because they do not understand that the margin of victory counts as much as who wins.
Maybe your candidate doesn’t win. But if the difference between his/her vote total and that of the winner is small, then the winner knows business as usual is threatened and next time the outcome could be very different.
Voting is not something we do once and walk away because little changed. Change is a process that may take years, but each election for each office counts. Each vote tells the politicians, the special interests, the moneyed people, the lobbyists and us how the people are feeling. Those who don’t vote are telling everyone they’re content with what is.
Every office on the ballot this year is important. We are asked to vote for congressional and state legislators. Three of the top Indiana state offices are up for grabs. All are important to our future.
Ask your neighbors, friends and relatives, “Are you a patriot? Do you care about the future of this country and state?” If they are cynical about what one vote means, tell them that every snowfall is made up of thousands of individual flakes, like them.
Mr. Marcus is an economist, writer, and speaker who may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.