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Column: Saluting America's Non-voters

This story was written by Lindsay Fiori, The Marquette Tribune


On Election Day, I would like to send a heartfelt thanks to a group of my favorite Americans: the politically apathetic. You know the ones. They don't follow politics, have never watched a debate, look puzzled when you mention the Electoral College and, most importantly, don't plan to vote.

They are the kind of Americans the rest should look up to and emulate. We have far too many people voting as it is. I think nobody should vote. And while we're at it, we should get rid of the entire Executive Branch, the Constitution and the Statue of Liberty she's getting tarnished anyway.

With Americans' track records, we're well on our way to that very situation. Only 64 percent of eligible U.S. citizens voted in the 2004 election. In Wisconsin, only 61 percent are registered even less than that actually vote, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Wisconsin Statewide Voter Registration System.

College students have an even worse turnout rate. In 2004, only 47 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds voted in the presidential election less than half! I am so excited by this. It makes me hopeful and confident in our future. We are the ones who are going to inherit a broken economy, a diminishing Social Security pot and a trillion dollar debt, so it's a good thing 53 percent of us aren't paying attention and don't seem to care.

In fact, not caring is the reason 14 percent of Americans give for not voting, the Pew Research Center reports. I totally understand this. Why would you care about who leads our country, implements policy and makes some of the most important decisions in the world? By not voting, these wonderfully apathetic Americans are also saying they don't care about the economy, health care, abortion, war or same-sex marriage, among a whole host of other issues.

For non-voters in college, that means they don't care about getting a job someday, acquiring and paying off student loans, buying a house or serving in the armed forces. I don't care about those things either. That's why I'm going to live in my parents' basement forever and never retire.

Another reason Americans don't show up at the polls is not having time, according to the Pew Research Center. Americans are too busy for Uncle Sam, and college students are no different. After I'm done with my many academic and extracurricular commitments today, I won't be able to vote because I'll be too busy Facebook-stalking photos of people from high school I haven't seen in two years and pretending to study while actually people-watching.

Why else don't Americans vote? Laziness is another top answer in the report. Our country is built on the values of hard work and determination. America's founders worked hard establishing the colonies and ridding our country of the oppressive British. Many of our grandparents came to this country to work hard in hopes of a better future. Today, we are too lazy to vote. That's a great way to repay our ancestors for their hard work and to uphold one of America's classic values.

So here's to you, brave, apathetic, non-voting Americans. Keep it up, and keep the American dream alive.

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