Reasons Behind Apathetic Voting

by Abigail Wasil
Guest Writer

“The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.
— Albert Einstein

In this quote, Albert Einstein was referring to people who are apathetic. Today America has seen apathy play a role in the electoral process causing 40 percent of Americans to not participate at the polls. At one point in history, Americans believed the right of voting was worth dying over as many fought for this cause. Why in recent years has that changed?

Studying this effect shows that apathy is one of the worst positions to be in as it breeds lack of focus. Apathy is defined by Webster as lack of emotion or interest. So in a county like America, why is it here and what can be done about it?

Apathy Is A Direct Reaction To Fear.

People fear finding out the truth about politicians, campaigns and polices. It seems “easier” to live in a world with no problems. People also fear voting for a candidate their friends will not support. Ultimately, people fear people. This is why there is such a big campaign for the swing vote, the silent majority which apathy created. Are you part of it? Apathy allows people to blame others for decisions they didn’t make, allowing Americans to complain about political issues without actually bringing the fight to Washington. It is as simple as fight or flight. When faced with opposition, will Americans fight or take fight? Statistically 60 percent will fight and 40 percent will take flight by not voting.

People Also Attribute Apathy To Lack Of Influence.

People feel powerless because they think their votes don't matter, leaving the result to “fate.” However, history has proven voting to be a solution. The evidence for this is overwhelming as voting has allowed women the right to vote, minimum wage laws to be in effect, and public schools to be operational. Countless other major decisions were decided by the American people through the voting process. Those who showed up had a direct impact in the result, while those who chose not to vote, surrendered their rights to be heard.

Voting is what gives America the advantage over other countries. It is the privilege of being in a democratic society that inspires freedom of speech. Voting is the very essence of the Bill of Rights as it is a way to speak up and participate or protest in a nonviolent way.

Voting Is American.

When the Declaration of Independence was ratified, America gained freedom, creating a government for the people by the people. Patrick Henry proved that people can move past apathy to action. In his speech to the president in 1775 he said, “Mr. President, it is natural for man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth…for my part, whatever anguish of fear it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst and provide for it.”

Since then, American soldiers and citizens have continued to fight and defend the constitution of the United States that gives every citizen their privilege to vote. 

Voting Is Biblical.

Christians are called to pursue righteousness and justice, which includes engaging in the political race. 

“For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.” (James 2:26) This implies that Christians are called to be involved, having a biblical responsibility to vote. When voting in an election, Christians are not voting for a pastor, but for a leader who God will use to fulfill His purpose. “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” Voting is an act of obedience toward God, showing stewardship over what followers have been blessed with. (James 4:17)

In the end, we each have a responsibility to God, to country and to our fellow man to be engaged in the country we live through doing our civic duty while providing for the future. This election year: Will you be a patriot who dared to vote?