The following is a weekly 60 Minutes commentary by correspondent Andy Rooney.
Every four years, at election time, a lot of organizations like to act public-spirited by telling people to vote.
They associate their effort to get out the vote with whatever their product is. They hope we'll think more highly of it because they're in favor of voting.
One of the biggest radio stations in the country, WFAN, owned by Viacom, which also owns CBS, is running a Get Out The Vote campaign.
The Credit Union National Association puts out a message saying it wants people to vote.
There was a sign on the West Side Highway in New York that I passed every day driving to work. It said "100 million votes made a huge impact on the last election. They didn't vote." That was followed by the name of Kenneth Cole, the company selling shoes that paid for the sign.
In Nevada, someone is trying to talk former prisoners into voting: Now that you've done your time, it's time to vote.
Of the 200 million eligible voters in this country, only a little more than half of them voted last time. It's a disgrace, but do you think WFAN, Kenneth Cole Shoes, or the Credit Union really gives a damn whether anyone votes or not?
I know I don't care. As a matter of fact, I have a message for the 100 million Americans who didn't care enough about our democracy to vote last time. Good! And, please, do us all a favor. Don't vote next time, either. If you don't care enough about the issues, I don't want you canceling out my vote with your vote.
I'd be willing to bet that it's the dumbest people among us who are least likely to vote too, and that's fine with me. I don't want anyone dumber than I am voting.
If you don't know the names of your two senators, don't vote.
If you don't read a good newspaper, don't vote.
If you're a new citizen, wait another four years until you understand English well enough to know what the candidates are talking about before you vote.
So, if you people watching tonight have some dumb friends, do yourself a favor and encourage them not to get out and vote.
This message was paid for by the people who watch 60 Minutes - most of whom are smart enough to vote or they wouldn't be watching 60 Minutes. They'd be home watching wrestling on television.
Written By Andy Rooney
Copyright 2004 CBS. All rights reserved.