If you think about this long enough, you will realize why we spend so much money to persuade such a small group of people: there is a lot at stake. The Left often attacks big political donors, not withstanding their own, as unfairly influencing the government to get what they want. But this is precisely the problem of big government: if we had a small government, then there would be small incentive to influence it.
The Founding Fathers understood this, just as they understood that, although no system is perfect anymore than any politician is, some are less flawed than others. I cannot help but feel a little trepidation at the possibility that the American people might make a terrible choice in this election. But even if they do, they will have to live with the consequences. A free people gets what it deserves. If there is any problem in our Republic, it is not our system, but us.
In fact, there is a very good chance that, despite record levels of anger against incumbents, we might end up with exactly the same situation that we have now: a Democratic President and Senate, a Republican House of Representatives. Although that would make almost no one happy, it would be a great tribute to the design of our Founders: it would be a sign that we are accurately and faithfully represented.
This is our Constitutional right, and our patrimony. But I’m afraid that all of the get-out-the-vote campaigns overshadow what a great privilege it is, a privilege denied to so many people around the world, and, for much of our history, even in our great Republic. I know that I am grateful for this chance to vote, but I also know that there are many people out there who disagree with me.
It is that gratitude that should make us take this seriously, and vote intelligently. John Erskine wrote in 1915 of the moral obligation to be intelligent; we have a moral obligation to vote intelligently, not based on race, good looks, popularity, charisma, or even emotions, but based on reason. When you cast your vote today, you should be able to say why you were right to vote the way you did; if you can’t, then you shouldn’t vote at all. It’s not a duty, but a precious, sacred privilege.