News From Terre Haute, Indiana


May 14, 2014

Readers’ Forum: May 15, 2014

An arrogant view on informed voting

In his recent letter regarding low voter turnout, Ryan Humphrey offered a rather narrow and conservatively isolated attitude about reasons for low involvement. He suggested, the cornerstone of a free society is voting; and implied that those who vote with less knowledge and a reduced dedication compared with his are, or should be, unwelcome in the process. Wow! Such supercilious superiority.

Mr. Humphrey must look through a “contemporary lens” of cultural diversity and demographic evolution to bring his perspective into the 21st century. At the local and state level offices, many people do not vote because they are unenlightened of the process and the candidate benefits to them. Locally and statewide the tradition, history, personality and recent publicity associated with a candidate may even direct us to vote “against a candidate” by casting our vote for the opponent.

Older voters, Mr. Humphrey, identify with the candidates; as the candidates tend to be local residents associated with many demographic categories not associated with youth and inexperience. Give the younger people a slate of candidates with whom they identify, and perhaps (?) the turnout will increase.

A degree of arrogance and superiority can be interpreted from your suggestion that voters who need assistance getting to the polls or those not as “duty bound” as you should not be involved in the beloved “democratic process.” Further, you proffer an ill-conceived and somewhat fraudulent observation — that the votes cast by the uninformed counteract (cancel?) the votes cast by a like number of purposeful and serious voters. Can you share with the public your empirical and supportable data?

The way-of-life we label “democratic process” is illuminated by offering and encouraging the right of qualifying citizens to vote in free elections: of the people (comprised of citizens), by the people (election by citizens), and for the people (protect and serve the citizens). Perhaps you could invest your good mind to truly find “causes of and cures for” voter apathy. Intelligent input and debate is always preferable to antiquated and narrow-minded blame and dismissal.

 — James Camp

Terre Haute

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