Patriots act

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By Staff Editorial

By Staff Editorial

You do it every day. It’s almost like breathing; you don’t even know you’re doing it. You’re making a choice.

Fall is here, and it’s that special time of year where people get into a apathetic state about voting.

The common argument is that a voter’s opinion doesn’t matter. But look at it this way: getting onions on your cheeseburger, or not, only affects whether or not you’ll have bad breath. Voting in the midterm elections has to do with your life.

There are a lot of people who think that one person not voting out of the entire national population is not a big deal. Some people think that their vote is just lost in the masses, and is therefore unnoticeable.

Think again, America.

Did you know that less than half of Americans vote? That puts us in 139th place out of 172 countries for voter turnout. The United States, the proprietors of democracy world-wide, are not big fans of what they’re selling.

Let’s say everyone who doesn’t vote had a meeting to talk about issues. If they all agreed unanimously on any given topic, they would automatically create a law.

What a scary yet empowering thought. Everyone who grimaces at the thought of voting could inherently change our lives.

These are the same people who will yell at a teenaged burger-flipper if their Big Mac has lettuce when they specifically asked for no lettuce. They are so devoted to their right to choose, they will accost a minimum wage part time worker.

Here’s a good scare: more people voted for the most recent American Idol than voted for George W. Bush in 2004. Take a moment to wrap your mind around that: more people voted for an amateur singer in a single night than people voted for our national leader in a nearly 24-hour period.

There are a slew of debates going on in Congress (it’s that big dome in Washington, D.C.) that will affect your life more than Taylor Hicks, guaranteed. These issues include things that influence your daily life on a personal level, such as smoking, abortion and drinking water.

There are also propositions up for debate this year that affect the nation: foreign oil, property taxes, education reform and the oh-so-popular war on terror, to name a few. In a time where everyone has an opposing idea on what the nation should be doing, everyone’s opinion matters. Even Bill O’Reilly’s… kind of.

And it’s not just a matter of the issues; it’s about the future of the issues.

You may have heard that Democrats are fighting to take over the House and Senate. This is as dramatic as it sounds.

We don’t hear a lot about the world of legislative government, but it is basically a preview of what will happen in the next presidential election. A majority of political experts believe that a success for the Democrats in the November elections could mean the end of Republican control altogether come 2008.

So where does that leave us? It leaves us right in the middle of the action.

These people will curse the ground President Bush walks on, but they won’t try to faze him out of the White House. It still seems like it would take a dictator-esque police squad to get some couch potatoes in the voting booth.

Americans just don’t take advantage of the greatest opportunity we are offered. Every election, the doors of American bureaucracy are thrown wide open for any person (well, almost any person) to tell “the man” what they want.

Nov. 7 is your opportunity to take part in a true American tradition. So stand up and make your voice heard.

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