Hey Daily Collegian, Every Vote Really Does Matter

The Daily Collegian typically publishes a diverse group of opinion columns, but as we’ve seen quite frequently, many fall flat. Yesterday’s opinion piece by William Haisley, “Truthfully, Your Vote Doesn’t Really Matter, Neither do Political Parties,” is the most inane yet.

How Haisley, a third year law student could proudly label himself as a “non-voter and apolitical person” boggles the mind. Before proceeding to ramble about the sad state of politics, Haisley takes the position that “One person’s vote only makes a difference in an election decided by one vote.”

Yes, the likelihood of a general election coming down to just one vote is virtually impossible. But if every citizen were to read William Haisley’s article and follow his advice, we’d be left with no one voting at the polls. While this is an opinion piece, certainly a college newspaper with a wide readership should be taking every measure to ensure the student audience remains civically engaged. Penn State students should be intelligent enough to know this is pure nonsense, but if not, here you go…

Many take for granted the freedoms we as Americans have to democratically select our elected officials. Voting isn’t a world-wide right.

In his ignorance, Haisley argues that political indifference is not only acceptable, but appropriate. His justification is that politicians are not fairly held accountable for their successes and failures while in office, and thus, rather than trying to change the problem, we should all just step back and watch the same problems continue. There is little worse than someone who does nothing, yet sits back and complains about the state of affairs.

It is baffling to argue both sides of this point. The core problem with the cyclical process of reelecting ineffective officials is that people like William Haisley think it is a waste of time. Being an engaged citizen and exercising a constitutionally given right (Oh that’s right, there’s no value in voting) for one measly day every two years, is the least that we as citizens can do.

People in other countries care about their government, and their elections–they don’t just sit back and complain about it.

If a third-year law student at the Dickinson Law School is broadcasting a call for political apathy, why would anyone else feel differently?

If individuals are taught that their single vote has no meaning, then how will they ever become motivated to join the political discourse that drives social change?

Disregard this Daily Collegian column, Penn State students.

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