The Sept. 19 column “Truthfully, your vote really doesn’t matter, neither do political parties” provides an overly cynical view about the importance of voting and political activism. It is certainly a worthwhile goal to be more scientific and rigorous in politics.
If recent remarks by politicians in charge of committees on scientific research are any indication, we definitely need to have more science majors in Washington. Rigorous testing of policy may work for air quality laws or agricultural subsidies. But regarding questions of freedom of speech or the right to assemble are inherently ethical and philosophical questions. I would prefer that we not see whether or not the Bill of Rights is worth keeping via experiment.
Just because many people are ill informed or do not seek to justify their beliefs, does not mean you can say political action is irrelevant.
If more people give up and decide to be apolitical, politics will only become more polarized and caustic. Moderate, levelheaded citizens that care about their community and country are essential to the success of our nation.
Voting, especially locally, is a fundamental part of this community engagement. Haisley writes that people partly vote just to be seen performing their civic duty.
With regards to duties, however, publicly encouraging someone to simply give up on this component of citizenship that so many have fought and died to preserve is truly negligent.
Vote, protest, write, lobby, run for office and enact the changes you believe in.
senior - agroecology and philosophy