Wednesday, November 06, 2013

civic duty

Let me describe what my polling place was like last night: the front door of the City Hall building was broken, so everyone had to enter around back – it really boosts your confidence and appreciation of government when your first impression is a broken door.  Symbolic, isn't it?  Our polling area was manned by four senior citizens, a proportion of about one worker for every voter (at least while I was there).  Each person who came to vote had to give his/her name and be looked up manually in a registration book.  Another worker then s-l-o-w-l-y wrote out each name by hand on another piece of paper along with your address and party affiliation (who knows why they need this).  I guess a duplicate copy was also needed, because the polling worker had a sheet of carbon paper on his pad (I don’t recall seeing that stuff since elementary school in the 1970’s – does my town have a stockpile from back then, or is some company still making this stuff?)  Finally, you are handed a ballot.  Now, NY State has advanced to the point that we no longer enter booths and pull a lever – we have these scantron sheets that are fed into a computer that scans the ballot.  Problem is, the machine coughs back a good percentage of the ballots it is fed.  My wife kept trying to get hers to work and it kept failing.  Same for another gentleman who was there.  There was a nice poll worker who came over to look at her ballot (so much for privacy) and try to get the machine to take it, but even he had to give up and just give her another ballot to fill out. 

My favorite item on the ballot itself was the referendum on whether we approve of a change to the State constitution that would allow casinos to be built, “promoting job growth, increasing aid to schools, and permitting local governments to lower property taxes.”  Yes, that was the exact language used.  How many people will say, “Golly gee, I think I’ll vote no because I’m really NOT in favor of job growth, aid to schools, and lower taxes.”  What a sham.

I think it’s time to thrown in the towel on this whole civic duty thing.  The overwhelming majority of the electorate 1) has little grasp of the issues; 2) is ignorant of basic economics, civics, history; 3) will vote for whoever promises the most goodies. 

Exhibit A:

I was listening to the radio this morning in the car and the interviewer asked someone whether he thought the New Jerseyians who voted to increase the minimum wage realized it would mean they would have to pay more when shopping.  The answer: of course not.  The government can just print some more money, can't they? 

Dear candidate: next election please don't bother me.  Just do einey-meeney-miney-moe and coronate someone.


  1. Some claim that the public edumecation system indoctrinates their little captives. It ain't true: all they do is make them dumb, as they emulate their teachers. Then television shortens their attention span to about five minutes [the length of time between commercials]. Then they go out and vote D.

    With Jews, OTOH, their chinuch makes them smart, capable of learning and focusing for extended periods. Then they go out and vote D.

    Will there not be a din for potentiating SSM and abortion-on-demand and pressure on Eretz Yisroel? And when the Jews say, "We didn't know until it was too late", the Satan will grin and take of his mask, showing an image of de Blasio. [Or Schumer, or...]

  2. It's the same story -- give us the goodies and you get our vote. Pressue on Israel and abortion and all those other things you mention are just pie in the sky theoretical concerns that can't compete with WIC, SNAP, Section 8, benefits to yeshivos, etc. Wait for Kerry's "peace" conference coming up in a few weeks. I'm sure Schumer and co. will have our backs.

  3. What happens when you speak up: