This article originally appeared in the July 16th, 2007 issue of americanchronicle.com.
Most citizens in the United States of America do not vote. Many never registered to vote, many others are registered but simply don’t vote. In the last federal election, fifty nine percent of the registered voters in this country showed up to vote. Of approximately two hundred and seven million registered voters in this country, only one hundred and twenty two million felt that it was important enough to take some time out of their day to vote for the president of the United States. Of these, approximately sixty two million voted for George W. Bush and approximately fifty nine million voted for John Kerry. Approximately one million two hundred thousand people voted for someone other than the two main party candidates. This leaves approximately eighty five million registered voters that did not vote. Eighty five million people would have been enough for any of the candidates running, even those in any of the third parties who all got less than one percent of the vote, to win. Why did all these voters decide not to show up at the polls in 2004?
The answer to the above question is, of course, varied and complicated. Still, I am willing to bet that a majority of these voters were simply apathetic. Many of them probably felt helpless, or that their vote didn’t matter. If they had voted for George Bush or John Kerry, their votes would be wasted like the vast majority of votes are wasted when voting for a Republican or Democrat. That’s because these people know that Democrats and Republicans are, for the most part, already bought and paid for by corporations and special interests. They have no faith in the current system because the current system has been corrupted and let us down for as long as most can remember. Many of them probably never realized that their numbers were enough that they could have voted in third party candidates at any time if they had just gotten up and voted for them. They have repeatedly been told that voting for third party candidates was a waste of a vote until they are so brainwashed that they believe the propaganda and they decide to stay home and not vote. They believe that there are only two choices. They believe that they have to vote for the lesser of two evils and so they decide not to vote at all rather than vote for evil. They believe that nothing will change no matter who they vote for, that the government is just going to do what it wants, going so far as to break its own laws and regulations. They see their rights eroding away and still they do nothing, believing that the system is broken beyond repair and there is nothing they can do about it. They walk through life disowned by the system, wanting nothing but to be left alone and instead their government gets more intrusive after each election. Feeling robbed by a callous government, they scream for relief wanting only to be able to mind their own business and their shouts fall upon deaf ears. They tire of war and the corruption and grief that goes with it, and even after they send out a rallying cry around it, even when they let their feelings be known in an unequivocal manner by electing what they thought would be an anti-war congress, their cries are ignored. It is no wonder the voters are apathetic. They have given up hope.
Ron Paul hasn’t. He still believes in America. He still believes in the constitution. He still believes in the Bill of Rights. He still believes people matter. He fights from within the two party system, wanting to take back one of the parties for the people, wanting to bring back fair representation for all and not just the wealthy few. He wants to reintegrate those eighty five million people and give them back hope. He wants to give us all the freedom to decide our own destinies, and he wants to do it by decreasing the size of government and giving us the ability to decide for ourselves what is truly important in our personal lives. This is his true agenda, and those in power are frightened by it. They know the power of the individual, they know the power of free choice and they know the power of the truth. That is why they try to make you believe he has no chance of winning, why they portray him as a Libertarian whose dreams and ideals are just too impractical for today’s world. That is why they wanted to exclude him from the last debate. The other candidates want the apathy to remain in place. They want to maintain control of you. Ron Paul wants to give you back the control you so richly deserve, the control that the Bill of Rights states the government will not take from you.
Ron Paul is not only a politician, he’s a doctor. When he practiced medicine he was honest with his patients and expected them to take part in their treatment. To do this, he may have, at times, tried to change the attitude of his patients. Sometimes that’s more important than anything else a doctor can do. He has diagnosed America’s problems and has come up with a treatment for them. Part of the problem in America is apathy. He can fight this problem with his message of freedom and liberty. More than this, he can fight it by his actions, which anyone can see by his voting record. He consistently voted against legislation that removes our freedoms and replaces them with government nannyism. This message is a powerful one, and if it gets out to the apathetic it may resonate within them and get them to become active in America’s treatment. If enough of us spread the word, if enough of us realize our ills and take action to help treat them, Ron Paul just might be able to cure America’s apathy, and other diseases inflicting our country as well. Register as a Republican. Vote for Ron Paul. Vote for other freedom advocates running for congressional offices. Become involved. It is time to restore hope to our country. It is time for us to reclaim our personal responsibility. It is time for us to once again care.