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Thoughts On Illinois and Voter Turnout

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Posted by Everyday-Freethought on 2015-04-25 at 22:06:35

I saw an article recently stating the new governor in Illinois has a very low approval rating.

I wonder why this guy was elected in the first place.

Part of me thinks I know why: Most people do not vote. So I guess the real question is: Why don’t more people vote? Why do they let snakes like Rauner into office? I know people would rather vote for someone they like than vote against someone they do not like, but some people deserve being voted against.

He seems like a typical conservative: It seems the answer to the world’s problems is to give the wealthy free reign, and trust me, the crumbs for the rest of you will be wonderful.

From what I could tell, his campaign’s main message was that Illinois is not very friendly to business. He made about $50 million in 2013, and his net worth is about $900 million. He owns serveral homes. In one year he paid more in property tax on one home than most people in Illinois earn. He spent about $24 million on his own campaign. If Illinois is so bad for business, how did he get so rich? And why did people fall for it?

He is engaging in some short-sighted job poaching targeting Indiana. As Richard C. Longworth writes, American states need to realize that their competition is not each other, but Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Now he wants to decrease the minimum wage, and pay highway construction workers less money. Why is it that rich people think that a prosperous society requires everybody else to be poor? And why do people fall for it? I paid some attention to the campaign from here in Texas. I wonder if he tried to paint himself as a different kind of conservative, or saying that he has new, fresh ideas. It sounds like the same old conservative feudalism to me.

According to Wikipedia, 3,627,690 people in Illinois voted in the 2014 election. According to the US census, in 2014 the population of Illinois was 12,880,580. 23.5% were under the age of 18. So there are about 9,853,643 eligible voters in Illinois. So only about 36% of the eligible voters took part in this last election. What the heckflame and darnation is wrong with people?

In all seriousness, why don’t people vote? Non-voters that I talk to seem think they are too smart to vote, they are not fooled by the system, that the two parties are the same. It is hard to take these people seriously. They think they are beyond the two party system, they are smarter than the general electorate, yet I think they are the ones being taken for a ride. If you are not willing to press a button once a year, is it rational to expect society to be something that you approve of?

If voting did not matter, why is the GOP trying to limit people’s access to voting? If voting did not matter, why are the Koch brothers planning on spending almost $1 billion to influence the 2016 election? A few hedge fund billionaires in Chicago gave a LOT of money to Bruce Rauner. I am guessing they voted.

Over time, as turnout decreases, distrust in government increases (I know this shows the numbers for federal government, but I think the point is valid).  So many people are cynical about government and think that government will try to restrict our freedoms. Perhaps people need to realize that the real threat is some parts of the private sector encroaching on other parts of the private sector.

What we are stuck with is more bitterness, and more people souring on “both sides”. I was happy to see some pushback on Little Green Footballs against the “both sides” fallacy: “Both parties not measuring up to desired standards doesn’t mean that both parties are the same.” Another commenter pushed back on some “both sides” nonsense to tell someone that if they REALLY did not like the two main parties, then look into third parties.

Every election, turnout decreases, people are more unhappy with government, and nobody makes the connection.

Someone on Little Green Footballs wrote We get the government we deserve.

I am NOT getting the government I deserve. I am stuck with the government other people deserve.

Image from Wikimedia,  assumed allowed under Fair Use.

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