Notwithstanding the understandable ambivalence toward the presidential race, down-ballot races should provide ample incentive for all Americans to show up at the polls this election cycle. Conservative unity for congressional, state, and local races is imperative to prevent the continued erosion of individual liberty, and to sustain our founding principles.
Samuel Adams said of our right to vote, “Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual–or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.” Indeed, one of the most consequential rights we have as citizens is to vote, and yet due to apathy or ignorance, all too few of us exercise that privilege.
The significance of voting presumes an informed electorate. As bad as our election turnouts usually are, those showing up at the polls should at least make an attempt at being informed on the issues and candidates before they dot their ballots. Regrettably, it seems Winston Churchill was spot on when he said, “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.” The late-night comedians often illustrate that verity as they quiz “average” citizens about current events and political leaders. We ought not to be a politically ignorant nation.
Voting rights are often taken for granted. Early restrictions on voting disallowed non-land owners, those who had no income, those who weren’t Caucasian, or male, or naturalized citizens. Literacy tests, poll taxes, and even religious tests have been used to restrict voting. Currently in the United States, we have the most broad and inclusive voting rights ever. People have lost their lives fighting for the right to vote. Yet less than half of the eligible voter base will bother to show up at the polls for presidential elections. And just 59% of Idahoans will bother to exercise that right.
But there is one political party that does everything it can to facilitate a non-eligible voter base turn out. For some reason, the political machine of the left has always been inclined to chicanery. From the days of Tammany Hall, the Huey Long machine, and the Chicago’s “vote early and vote often,” the left has shamelessly attempted to manipulate election “turn out,” and the returns themselves.
It’s no wonder Donald Trump expresses, to the feigned astonishment of the left and the media, that elections are “rigged.” According to Pew Research just last month, approximately 24 million, or one in every eight voter registrations in the U.S. are “no longer valid.” They also revealed that there are more than 1.8 million deceased individuals listed as voters, and approximately 2.75 million “voters” are registered in more than one state.
These days, with electronic voting machines, the Democrats don’t even have to maintain lists of deceased voters; all they need is a hand in the programming of the voting machines. The Brennan Center for Justice released a detailed report on how at risk our elections are based on electronic voting machines, mostly due to obsolescence, but also due to programming errors and manipulations. Electronic machines have become increasingly notorious in recent years for “vote flipping,” or changing the voter’s selection before the vote is tabulated. An alarming video of how easily such changes can be programmed into electronic voting machines is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qs6w5ihNbtY.
The potential for vote manipulation notwithstanding, if even a fraction of the 73 million eligible voters across the nation cared enough about what government does to their individual liberty, they would take the time to vote. Every few years, Pew Research polls Americans on their convictions with regard to economic growth and capitalism in general. Consistently 68-70% of Americans feel strongly about the capitalistic economic model and are concerned about growth of the economy. That means that by far the majority of Americans have an economic view consistent with basic principles of the Republican Party. If that sizeable majority of Americans actually voted, and did so undeviatingly, there is not an election that conservatives could not win.
We simply can’t afford a repeat of the first two years of the Obama administration when the House was led by Nancy Pelosi and the Senate’s stern-man was Harry Reid. That infamous two years gave us the legislative “gifts” that will keep on giving for many years, like the $1.2 trillion (including interest) crony-capitalist “Stimulus” that mostly just rewarded Democrat political cronies; Obamacare with its full effect being foisted upon the nation now with massive premium increases; and the outlawing of the incandescent light bulb, the replacement for which now costs three to four times what we used to pay for bulbs, but with the presumed bonus of being able to claim we’re “saving the world” whilst using them.
If the House and Senate switch back to Democrat control, who knows what newfangled idiocy will be foisted against upon the country, to say nothing about the composition of the Supreme Court, and more erosion of individual freedom. And the same holds true for control of statehouses, county and municipal leadership across the country. When common sense leadership is replaced with “feel good” ideological politicos, inanity rules, and the people suffer. The generational control of places like Detroit, Chicago, New York, and Baltimore stands as a testimonial to that fact.
The presidency is crucial and our founding principles are even more at risk with a Clinton victory. If conservatives were to unite behind the one candidate who can defeat her, and vote in every crucial down-ballot race, our plunge into the liberal abyss can be at least partially stymied, for the time being.
Associated Press award winning columnist Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, Idaho and is a graduate of Idaho State University with degrees in Political Science and History and coursework completed toward a Master’s in Public Administration. He can be reached at [email protected].