Weekly Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country
of West Texas
Friday, October 29, 2004
By Smokey Briggs
Rock the vote
Who in the world ever came up with the perfectly stupid idea that every creature nearing the classification of homo sapiens ought to be allowed to vote, much less encouraged?
I know - what an un-American, un-democratic, elitist, mean view.
Last night’s Rock the Vote message on the boob-tube finally sent me over the edge.
The message is simple - if you happen to be capable of sucking up oxygen next Tuesday, you have some moral duty to ambulate down to the voting booth and pull a lever, punch a chad or whatever.
No wonder we continue to be presented with blockheads and blockhead ideas by the two reigning parties - and most third parties.
Folks, if someone is such a slug that they need to be encouraged to take time to vote, we do not need them voting.
Because if they are that lazy; that ambivalent; that uncaring about the world they live in; then I guarantee that they are also absolutely uninformed about the current slate of candidates and issues.
Worse, it is even more certain that they slept through every history class a coach ever taught, and never bothered to even pause as they surfed past the history channel on their way to ESPN or the Comedy Channel - much less cracked a book.
Not only do these people know nothing about the current issues - they know nothing about the past and it is the past that gives context to the present.
Without knowledge of the history of our country, our civilization, our culture, our species, we are cursed to simply reinvent the wheel day after day, election after election.
It is an excellent recipe for extinction.
Now, I know this is not a popular idea.
The popular idea is that if you are citizen of this great nation (a gift at birth rather than a distinction to be earned) then you have a duty to vote.
That is junk.
Your duty is to educate yourself so that you can make some sort of semi-informed decision when you walk into the election booth.
If you cannot fulfill duty number one, then you have no business pulling a lever for candidate A or candidate B.
I find it highly unlikely that anyone who needs prodding to hop down to the election booth has bothered to fulfill his or her initial duty to learn a little bit about the world they live in.
Stephen Crane, author of the “Red Badge of Courage” among others, is credited with the following words:
“Philosophy should always know that indifference is a militant thing. It batters down the walls of cities and murders the women and children amid the flames and the purloining of altar vessels. When it goes away it leaves smoking ruins, where lie citizens bayoneted through the throat. It is not a children's pastime like mere highway robbery.”
The indifference that can tear down the walls of civilization that Crane speaks of is not the indifference of those who fail to vote.
The indifference Crane speaks of is that of individuals willing to vote while being indifferent in their self-education regarding politics and history.
Rock the Vote?
I hope not. If these morons are successful the rocks we will be dealing with will those of the new Stone Age.
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York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321
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