Yesterday – while wandering through various posts from some of my friends on Facebook – I saw one of my friends had posted that he wasn’t going to vote. Because: “I don’t want to.” My thought was – “OK, well, that’s your right as well. You don’t HAVE to vote – even though thousands of men and women have given their lives in order to secure the right TO vote for you.” I didn’t put that in a comment. However, someone else did.
Then – someone else commented that it was his “civic duty” to vote. I had to stop and think about that. This is where my high school “Civics” class came back to me (Mr. Cinqmars should be proud – God rest his soul). We had had this discussion in class. “Civic Duty” is actually defined as “actions that are required by law” – examples: jury duty, obeying enacted laws, paying taxes required by law, etc. “Civic Responsibility” – on the other hand – is used to describe things like voting, volunteerism, The basic difference between Civic Duties and Civic Responsibility is this – Civic Duties are legally enforceable – and some can vary from state to state. Civic Responsibilities are considered to be actions performed by the citizenry that “are done foe the common good of the country”.
So – my friend that decided not to vote because “I don’t want to” – may, in his own heart and mind, have been performing his Civic Responsibility. Voting against his own will – is neither responsible nor is it a legally enforceable duty.
My only caveat to all of this is: “If you don’t vote – then you do not earn the privilege to gripe after it is all over.”
You had the right and ability to vote. A right secured by the blood of many. You CHOSE not to vote. Therefore – at least from where I sit – you have abdicated your privilege to gripe about the results, as you “chose not to choose”.