The following article is taken from the May 2010 issue of the Main Street Journal. Click “Subscribe Online” above to start your subscription.
By: Jonathan Lindberg
Benjamin Franklin once said, “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.”
When it comes to voting, many of us feel like lambs – that our one, lone vote does not matter. For many of us, elections are nothing more than well-oiled machines, having little to do with our single, individual vote.
We have been told by insiders and professionals that only demographics matter. We have been told that fundraising is king. We have even been told that elections are determined long before we go to the polls, so that when Election Day rolls around, we reason, “Why bother?” – and we don’t.
However, a full reading of the Benjamin Franklin quote goes something like this: “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!”
The truth is this – your one vote does matter.
In 2008, 150,000 Shelby County conservatives voted in the presidential election. If that number of conservatives were to vote in our city and county elections, conservative candidates would sweep the ballot every time. Forget demographics and party machines, conservatives have the numbers. The problem is this – less than 50,000 conservatives typically vote in our local elections.
That means on May 4, two out of every three conservative voters might stay home, believing their one vote does not matter.
Many of us are well aware of the problems facing Shelby County: the highest tax rate in Tennessee, unsustainable pensions for a bulging county government, violent crime, political corruption and the looming threat of reckless consolidation.
These are real problems that will affect every one of us over the next four years. We need to curb the size of government and start living within our own means. But how?
The good news is this – we are well-armed lambs. Each of us has one vote and that one vote matters.
On Tuesday, May 4, primary elections will be held in Shelby County. We will be electing a whole new Shelby County government. Many of the most important positions are to be filled, including Shelby County Mayor, Shelby County Sheriff and a number of Shelby County Commission seats.
Conventional wisdom tells us that many of these races are already decided. However, the conventional wisdom is wrong. These races are not decided. Anything could happen. On May 4, voter turnout will decide the day.
Therefore, Main Street Journal joins the chorus – the choir of broken records – get out and vote.
Contest conventional wisdom. Arm yourself with fierce liberty and independence. Vote May 4 and let your voice be heard.