Point/Counterpoint: Vote to honor freedom afforded to you by U.S democracy
Read the counterpoint to this argument here.
You’ve probably heard the common arguments against voting: My vote doesn’t count among 314 million people or my vote doesn’t count in an eternally red state.
But my opponent has different reasons.
He argues there are not enough differences between the candidates to warrant voting. After watching the last debate, I have to concede that the candidates do not have many important differences.
Though Gov. Mitt Romney seemed to spend the beginning of his campaign trying to convince his Republican base he was “Republican enough,” he has recently moved toward the center. This has not gone unnoticed by President Barack Obama, who accused Romney of “making stuff up based on whether it is convenient or not.”
However, the candidates do have some different positions on important issues.
Obama has explicitly stated he supports gay marriage. Though Romney was a stronger supporter of gay rights during the 1994 Senate race in Massachusetts, his views have since moved to the right.
The candidates disagree on how much government involvement is necessary. Both stereotypically represent the parties: Obama wants more government and Romney emphasizes free markets.
Obama has supported investment in green energy. Romney, however, sided with the oil companies during the second debate. Romney pointed to the federal lawsuit against North Dakota oil companies for violating the Migratory Bird Act and killing 28 endangered birds.
My opponent also argues change can be done more effectively through direct citizen engagement than through voting. While this is true in some situations, some tasks are too large and costly to be done at a grassroots level.
Though the intentions of the average citizen taking on large, essential projects like road and bridge construction is admirable, it is not realistic or advisable.
His final reason against voting is too often people vote based on charisma and personality instead of the actual issues.
I am the first to agree with this assertion. I think Romney is an incredibly obnoxious, uninteresting, rich white man who has seen little struggle in his life. I have struggled to separate his platforms from his grating personality.
But this reality is why it is so important to vote every four years. Because in other countries where democratic elections are not a part of the government, these charismatic personalities come to power and stay in power until they die. In these countries, switching leadership — for whatever reason — is not an option.
Yes, you are one voter out of millions, and if you are like me, your vote won’t really count in this state, but you are fortunate enough to live in a country where every four years we can have a peaceful transfer of power.
We don’t live under the constant threat of a military coup or a tyrannical dictator. This is a liberty that many people in the world would love to enjoy, and shame on you if you take that liberty lightly.
Janna Gentry is an English senior.