Low voter turnout highlights apathy
Nov 23, 2011 | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
To the Editor:

“Democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where 51 percent of the people may take away the rights of the other 49 percent.” There is debate on whether or not Thomas Jefferson actually said this, but for this letter that fact is irrelevant. As imperfect as our system may be the truth is that it’s the best thing going. What, however would happen if the “mob” was reduced to a small herd? If Jefferson had it right with 51 percent I wonder what he would have thought about 29.5 percent.

When the founding fathers drafted our current system they laid down an idea that was completely unheard of at that time: the ability for someone to participate in the governmental process simply by being here. Granted, it took a couple amendments and a century or so to iron out all the kinks, but the result was the same. If you are a law-abiding citizen of this country you had a say in how it was governed. To this day there are countries where this idea is not only completely foreign, but hazardous to your health if you try to implement it.

This is why I see red every time I see election results that reflect more apathy than civic duty. Apparently, 70.5 percent of Trigg County either didn’t care who got elected or figured that this particular election wasn’t worth their attention. Forget the fact that it is our system that is being emulated around the globe; forget the fact that revolutionaries fought and died so 70.5 percent of you could sit on your fannies instead of taking 30 minutes out of one day; forget the fact that the less you speak up, the less often you will be heard.

Somewhere along the way over the last 200-plus years Americans have adopted a herd mentality based on apathy. Instead of individuals speaking their minds and making their voices heard, they say, “Naw. It doesn’t matter what I say or think. They are going to do whatever they want anyway.” And down the road we go in blissful, apathetic ignorance with the rest of the herd.

29.5 percent? Welcome to the herd, Trigg County.

David Hazelmyer

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