I have two words for the 4,763 people who voted in the Nov. 5 municipal election in Peachtree City: Thank you.
I have one word for the 17,622 registered voters in Peachtree City (about 80 percent of the electorate) who did not vote: Shame, shame, shame!
That same word applies to the 85 percent of registered voters in Fayette County who didn’t vote: Shame!
Even without hearing your excuses, I would bet that not a dozen of them are worth the powder to blow them to hell.
Statistically, some of you were dead. I’d accept that excuse. Less likely, some of you may have been in long-term comas; I’d accept that, as well.
If you were “out of town” for an extended period of time but had applied for an absentee ballot that wasn’t delivered, I would accept that excuse.
If you were unexpectedly required to be out of town for too long and too late to apply for an absentee ballot, I might accept that, but I’d have to know the circumstances.
Other than that, it’s up to you to convince me that you shouldn’t be ashamed for not taking advantage of all the opportunities you had to vote, including absentee ballots, three weeks of early/advanced voting, plus a 12-hour election day.
We consider the person who does not involve himself in civic affairs not as disinterested, but as worthless. Some Greek said that around 300 BCE. He (it was always “he” back then) probably said it better than I did. But it allows me to add a second word to describe those who didn’t vote: worthless.
Shame on you, you worthless electors!
Am I taking this personally? Yes. Why? Well, the aphorism that “people deserve the kind of government they get” is fairly well known, although what Alexis de Tocqueville actually said was, “In a democracy, the people get the government they deserve.”
It is an aphorism, and not literally true; however, it is something to think about.
I’m not going to argue “republic” versus “democracy,” but I will suggest that the 15—20 percent of us who voted don’t deserve the kind of government the 80—85 percent of you shamefully worthless electors have wished upon us.
Don’t take my word for it. Listen to another ancient Greek. Pericles was perhaps history’s first liberal, and he warned, “Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.”
Another aphorism; however, it should encourage us to take a hard look at what Congress and the administration have done to us over the past 15 years or so.
And now, for those who aren’t interested in the words of dead men:
Teacher: Johnny, use “politics” in a sentence.
Johnny (who may be representative of the 80—85 percent of Fayette County and Peachtree City electors who didn’t vote): “My parrot named Polly swallowed a clock; now, Polly ticks.”
Bad example: it is a compound sentence.
The excuse I heard most often was “I didn’t know anything about [the candidates].”
If I needed proof that someone was a shamefully worthless elector, that was it. There was no excuse for not knowing anything about the candidates. There were two, widely advertised public forums and countless articles in the local press. There were City Council meetings that are open to the public and available on the Internet.
Let’s go back to the dead guys.
“Those who [think they] are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.” — Plato
I’ve taken liberties here. Plato didn’t include the two words in brackets (“think they”). However, if he’d thought a little more deeply, I believe he would have. I believe no one is too smart to engage in politics (although there are probably a few who are too stupid — Johnny with the parrot, for example).
Finally, here’s something for those who remember “1984” (the book, not the year or the movie): “In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics.’ All issues are political issues.” —George Orwell
There are some of us who want to make a difference; but it’s going to take more than the 15—20 percent who vote.
Peachtree City, Ga.