Monday, September 29, 2008

Don't forget!

While I'm on the talk of politics and all that jazz, remember to register to vote(and re-register if you changed your address, name, or political party).  I'm assuming most people reading are in California, so that link, and this post, is specifically for California.

Commonly received excuses:
  • I'm too busy to vote - yeah, so am I!  I work 80 hours a week and I have to study on top of all of that, while maintaining my sanity.  Don't tell me you're too busy.  And yeah, I still vote.  How do I do it?  Absentee, baby!  California lets you sign up for permanent absentee ballot.  It's the best thing in the world.  Just send off your vote and be done with it.  Easy as pie. 
  • I don't care about any of the candidates - yeah, but you should.  It matters who is in political office as to what your taxes pay for, how much you pay in taxes, how good the public school your kids go to are, what your doctor can order for you, etc etc.  You should care and it is a privilege (and a right) to vote - take advantage of it.  And there's a lot more on the ballot than just candidates.  In California, there are propositions regarding animal rights, gay marriage, and alternative energy, among others.  Surely one of those must matter.  If nothing matters, who cares.  Send back an empty ballot.  Saying nothing says something.
  • I don't know anything - read the silly one pager on all the propositions and candidates.  It's easy.  If I can manage to do it, you can.  It comes in your mailbox and is available online, conveniently enough.
Why am I so adamant that everyone vote?  Because voting for me is a privilege.  I wasn't granted the right to vote based on my birthplace.  My parents had to travel over an ocean and a mountain of paperwork to be able to obtain the right to vote, so I take it as my own responsibility to do so - and so should you. 

So, that's it.  Yeah, more than my two cents.  And no, I don't care who you vote for.  I'd rather someone vote for Michael Jackson than not vote at all. 

(Trying to get people who don't vote is kind of like getting smokers to quit - you never think you will change their habits, but you just have to keep on trying.  On that note, I just got notice that one of my patients that I counseled on smoking cessation last month actually quit the day after I saw him!  It can work!)

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