Almost half the people who can register to vote, don’t register. And of those who do register to vote, almost half don’t vote. That leaves the future of our lives in the hands of a small but influential group. How do we take it back? Link voting to having sex, I half humorously argue
By Ray Hanania
They didn’t teach me “New Math” when I went to school in the 1960s, which is probably why I am better at math than many of the younger “whippersnappers” that have come along who think they are smarter than Baby Boomers.
But I do know that most Americans who can vote in elections, don’t vote. The numbers are clear but the percentages seem to vary because some only calculate the total number of people who are registered to vote but don’t include those that don’t register but who can.
Let me explain: Often missing from the tabulations are the total number of Americans who are old enough to register but don’t register, so sometimes, they are not in the equation.
Many election reports will say that in 2012, 66.8 percent of people voted. Well, that’s not accurate in the bigger context. The 66.8 percent represents the number of “registered voters” who didn’t vote.
That’s a terrible reflection on a nation founded on several principles, religious freedom (which apparently doesn’t exist in this country any more) and freedom to vote, which finally was fully realized to include women and Blacks earlier in the last century.
The real number to shame this country is 57.6 percent. That’s the actual percentage of people who can register or who have registered to vote, but didn’t vote, according to the last presidential election is 2012.
What do we do?
Well, for one thing, we can make voting more like Sex. That would have its benefits and its shortfalls.
The benefit? The voting process would be a lot faster and in shorter time.
Let’s be honest. Congress lies to us all the time about raising and not raising taxes. So, if we’re going to get screwed (can I say that word in print?), making voting more like sex makes sense.
I mean “screwed” is the operative word here, isn’t it?
For example, why does a candidate for national office spend $50 million to win a job that only pays $400,000 a year for president and even less for the Congress, only $175,000?
They know that when they get to Washington, their campaign supporter contractors can buy a toilet seat for $10 and sell it to the government for $10,000. (That applies to almost everything bought by our government under every administration.)
Therein lies the problem. The taxpayers get screwed.
Take the unofficial campaign slogan of one of our former presidents: “I want to be president to meet women.” In fact, that is the exact same campaign slogan of his wife, which is fine with me of course, because I don’t discriminate against the LGBT community.
We can tie sex to taxation. It might make a difference. For example, right now we have the highest taxes for fighting crime, and we have the highest crime rate in the country. We have the highest tax for education, and we have the highest rate of school failings.
It makes sense then. The higher the taxes the higher the amount of sex we have, although I am sure when it comes to sex, some people are already high enough. Can you imagine the election promises? We’ll all be screaming for more taxes. And the politicians won’t have to lie about taxes at all. The state’s pension troubles will be resolved, maybe.
And, at least, if no one cares about voting, they’ll care about having sex.
That’s a good thing, I think. Isn’t it?
(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and columnist. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and at www.TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.
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