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Chuck Muth is President and CEO of Citizen Outreach and a professional political consultant. Mr. Muth is a professional campaign trainer, a newsletter publisher and talk-show host who regularly appears on political TV and radio programs.

Sunday

Muth's Truths, 10/17/04


The Melon-head’s Civic Duty: DON’T Vote!


Matt Stone has really stirred up a hornet’s nest. The co-creator of Comedy Central’s controversial “South Park” cartoon has a new movie out, “Team America, World Police.” The puppet film is filled with violence, sex, foul language and features a black panther ripping to shreds actor/international terrorism expert Sean Penn.

But that’s NOT what got under Penn’s skin. No, it was Stone’s suggestion that clueless people maybe shouldn’t vote. “My whole thing is I just wish uninformed people would just stay home,” Stone told the Associated Press. “If you don't know who you're going to vote for, there's no shame in not voting.”

Whoa! Can he actually SAY that?

The notion that people in this country have an obligation to show up and cast a ballot on election day is a sacred cow. Government officials from coast-to-coast spend millions, if not billions, of dollars every election cycle urging people to do their “civic duty” and get out and vote.

Why? Why should fully informed and actively involved citizens such as you and I have our votes cancelled out just because some clueless melon-head has been persuaded by Puff Daddy that he had better “Vote or Die”?

There is no “civic duty” to vote. But what there SHOULD be is an obligation to cast an INFORMED vote. Folks like Puff Daddy, Michael Moore and Sean Penn are doing the country a terrible disservice by badgering, coaxing and even bribing boobs and bozos into the polling booth. Stone is absolutely correct. These people should stay home, wash their car, darn their socks, fix their hair…anything but vote.

Thankfully, more and more responsible people are coming out and saying just that. Columnist Thomas Sowell recently wrote, “A citizen who cannot be bothered to learn the facts about the issues, not just media spin or party propaganda, is doing a disservice by voting.” And columnist Catherine Seipp asks, “Why should the lazy-idiot demographic be encouraged to influence society even more than it already does?”

Then there’s this from talk-show host Neal Boortz: “Let's get about the job of limiting voting to people who actually have a clue. If you claim to be ‘undecided’ at this point in this particular election you fall into that ‘don't have a clue’ category. Do future generations of Americans a favor and stay home on election day.” Indeed.

Over the summer I caught a column by Bob Maginnis in the Hagerstown (Md.) Herald Mail. He wrote about a 24-year-old named Michael Myers who has never voted in his life and who wanted folks to tell him why he should. After reading this melon-head’s “thoughts” on current events and public policy, my answer to Mr. Myers is simple: Don’t. PLEASE don’t.

Myers’ says he’s willing to pay higher taxes in order to adopt a national health care system such as Canada’s. He believes you “have to be a wealthy person to run for office” and thought the Democrat presidential candidate who was most in tune with the average guy was race-hustler Al Sharpton. Myers also believes the Iraq war was all about boosting the economy and suspects that President Bush won the 2000 election simply because his brother was governor of Florida. He also thinks perhaps the Green Party should be funded by the government to give its candidates a chance to win.

Good grief. Uneducated and ill-informed citizens such as Mike Myers are exactly the reason why we have the cradle-to-grave nanny-state Great Society government we have today.

All rights come with responsibilities. Sure people like Mike Myers have the “right” to vote, but they also have an obligation to do so responsibly. That means doing more than getting your political news from Leno, Letterman, Conan and Stewart. It means reading the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution at least once in your adult lifetime. It means reading more than the Sports section of your daily newspaper.

The only patriotic thing for Myers-type voters to do is: Stay home. Frankly, this nation simply can’t afford - literally - to continue paying the price for the damage uninformed, melon-headed citizens do in the voting booth.

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