Someone once told me that if you don’t vote on election day, you have no right to criticize the government. I made the mistake of repeating that statement to my stepfather one day, and was quickly informed that the time he spent getting shot at in Korea gave him the right. OK, I’ll concede on that one.

I do vote, but it’s done little to make me happy with my government. I research the candidates, listen to their promises and platforms, and vote for my choice. Unfortunately, my choice is usually for “the lesser of two evils” — I’m rarely (if ever) completely happy with any candidate. And in the end, my taxes are spent on programs that I have no desire to support, whilst those things I do want to support are ignored or worse yet, cut.

Writer Burt Prelutsky puts it so well in his October 5 commentary:

But when we in America are told that we lack the funds to put body armor on our soldiers or to protect our own borders, the last thing I want to hear is that Uncle Sam is sending Africa billions of dollars that, for all the good it will do, might as well fuel a large bonfire on the lawn of the White House or be flushed down the Potomac.

So what can Americans do? We’ve followed the issues, voted our consciences, and yet we’re stuck with representatives at all levels who just don’t do what they say they will. It seems to me that our only options are to:

  1. Wait till the next election and try again; or
  2. Impeach/recall and remove from office those who are not doing what they said they would do, and then elect someone new and try again; or
  3. Move

Option 1 seems too much like doing nothing. I don’t consider that an option. Option 2 is time consuming, requires massive amounts of organization and intestinal fortitude, and would probably not be effective (California and Ahnuld notwithstanding). Option3 is counterproductive.

Dear readers, I never promised you answers. Questions, sure. But I don’t have answers. So I put it to all of you … I’m not happy with my government. I’m distressed that my taxes are going to fund “the arts”, but that my local high school doesn’t have enough math textbooks to issue one per student. I would like to see education funding moved to the local level. Period. The State and the Feds have no business in education. But that’s another entry for another day.

What’s a voter to do?