Tuesday, June 15, 2010

No Rest for the Voter

Just when we thought is was over, commercials are coming on TV for the November gubernatorial election. The one I have seen the most so far has been the one that replays Meg Whitman's wholly non-responsive response to a question about her not voting over the past 28 years. While she was nominally taking responsibility for her record, not giving the reason is going to keep this an issue.

My advice on this matter is to again take responsibility but to also embrace an emerging demographic. I would suggest an answer like this.

"It is true that I had not voted for many years. The reason I did not vote is that I was complacent. Government was not an important issue in my life at the time. At least, I did not think it was important. During those years, the Legislature, Governor's office, and regulatory agencies in Sacramento were expanding their budgets and granting themselves ever more influence in our lives. While they were doing that, I abetted it by being complacent. And over those same years, the rates of voter turnout have dropped while Sacramento careened out of control.

"The commercials imply that it is hypocritical for me to be running for Governor when I have not performed the minimum asked for of citizens in the past. I answer that it is not hypocrisy but an awakening. My neglect, and the neglect practiced by millions of other voters, have ultimately created the crisis we now face, and now we have to wake up and see the problem fixed. That awakening is happening, and the citizens of California need to either lose their complacency and engage the process or to re-engage by overcoming the despair that their vote cannot create a difference."

Those who haven't voted in the past but are now pissed off enough to get out on the streets.

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