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Another 964 Reasons to Vote

Why Vote? Reasons 185-1,148 186. Using colorful language to carp about elected officials is a time-honored tradition. Best practiced at barbershops and old-man bars, bitching is far too much fun to do away with. But if you don't cast a ballot-as some know-it-all will surely remind you-you forfeit your..

Why Vote? Reasons 185-1,148

186. Using colorful language to carp about elected officials is a time-honored tradition. Best practiced at barbershops and old-man bars, bitching is far too much fun to do away with. But if you don't cast a ballot-as some know-it-all will surely remind you-you forfeit your right to complain. Don't risk it.188. "The ballot is stronger than the bullet."-Abraham Lincoln189. Like Don Quixote, we believe in fighting windmills.190. More than 1.1 million people will apply for legal U.S. citizenship this year-an all-time high. While those immigrants wait to enjoy the rights of that citizenship, we have all of its privileges now.

191. Your grandfather won a Medal of Valor, a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts. He was wounded twice by the Nazis trying to defuse booby-traps attached to wounded American G.I.s. He missed the birth of your father, his firstborn, recovering in an Army hospital before returning to combat. Vote for his memory and for all those like him.192. It pisses off Osama bin Laden.193. As many as 2,000 Georgians were killed or wounded defending their young democracy.
\nChester WilliamsAge 38 Former South African rugby player. First voted on April 27, 1994, after blacks got the vote in South Africa.I cast my first ballot in the Western Cape. There were concerns there would be violence, but everything went accordingly. It was an amazing, emotional thing for me-a feeling that I deserved the right to vote, and that I was going to be speaking for my country. Before, there had always been a sense that you're trying to build the country, but you can't do this thing that white people can do. It was almost nerve-wracking when you finally had the chance to do it. There were jubilations-people danced and had barbecues and drove up and down the street, whooping. Fourteen years later, it is all still fresh in my mind. South Africa is still a work in progress. It's a process, and the goal will take a bit longer. But I think in time people will talk about "South Africans"-not "black" and "white" and "colored" and "Indian."
194. The people currently in office-to say nothing of the fools at the EPA-are clueless about environmental preservation and sustainability.

195. Things could be better.

196. You didn't vote in 2000, when you were living in Florida, and we're all still mad at you for it.197. You want lower taxes.198. We stand to elect a guy who actually knows something about war.199. Even if you don't want to vote for anyone in particular, you can vote against someone else.

200. Apathy isn't sexy.

201. Obama has an art posse. It started with Shepard Fairey's limited run of that iconic red and blue stencil; Ron English, Alex Pardee, and Sam Flores soon followed.202. As the "leaders of the free world" we seriously lag when it comes to voter turnout, and not just behind our friends in Western Europe, who have us by about 20 percent. Despite major suppression and violence, and an almost-total boycott by Sunnis, Iraq still turned out a higher percentage of voters than we did last time around. And Malta turned out 93 percent of voters in its last election-that was a down year.203-637. Every U.S. representative has to run every two years. There are 435 Congressional districts up for grabs.638. A vote is an opportunity to tell the truth. As George Orwell wrote, "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act."

Timothy E. Wirth

\nFormer senator from Colorado and president of the United Nations Foundation639. The next president will have an opportunity to present a new face to the world, strengthen America's reputation, and foster international cooperation to solve the world's most pressing problems, such as preventing the spread of nuclear weapons, stamping out terrorism, confronting climate change, and revitalizing the global economy.In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, President Bush rallied the international community through the United Nations to combat global terror networks. The administration also dramatically increased financial resources to combat HIV/AIDS, helping to rally the world. Conversely, the administration had a major disagreement with allies and much of the international community over its decision to initiate a pre-emptive war in Iraq and its reluctance to participate in cooperative efforts to prevent climate change and address other global issues. The Bush administration has increasingly called on the U.N. to take on key tasks on the global agenda, especially peacekeeping, but has not been honoring its commitment to the missions for which it has voted. As a result, the United States is more than $1.5 billion in debt to the U.N.Both Senator Obama and Senator McCain are supportive of strengthening the U.N., by updating operations and management processes. Senator Obama has committed himself to the principle that the United States should pay its U.N. dues on time and in full, without inappropriate conditions. Senator McCain has proposed establishment of a League of Democracies as an alternative when the U.N. Security Council is deemed incapable of addressing global threats, but the criteria for membership and legitimacy of the proposed league are unclear.
640. The current inflation rate is 5.6 percent. The current unemployment rate is 5.7 percent. And, gas prices are hovering near $4 a gallon. You work too hard to see numbers like this.
"The Bush administration has shown that democracy is something that can be lost. One of the ways you show your love of this great experiment called democracy is to vote. Also, when you check America's not-so-ancient history, you will see that the ability for all to vote did not come quickly or without great protest by some. That alone should be all one needs to get to the ballot box."Henry Rollins, spoken-word poet and former front man of Black Flag\n
641. "Democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others."-Winston Churchill642. Americans under the age of 20 have never lived in a country where the president wasn't named Bush or Clinton.643. In some states it's illegal to use a mobile phone in a polling place. Which means half an hour in a room with no jerks screaming into their BlackBerrys. 644. If he wins, Barack Obama might actually appoint people of color who care about the interests of minority communities. Attempts at this by previous presidents only led to appointments of people who worked to protect their respective administrations by any means necessary, no matter how damaging it was to the communities they came from. (We're looking at you, Condi.)

\n646. The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act has already passed in the House. And if this Bush-endorsed bill is signed into law, it will give the government leeway to scan your emails, Facebook page, and Skype chats in an effort to determine if you're just a run-of-the-mill activist or a full-blown homegrown terrorist. Naturally, it's also up to them to tell the difference between the two, which chips away at the most fundamental American right-to holler loudly about the things you think are unjust.

647. "When the world goes up in flames, there will be one less reason to feel responsible." Errol Morris, documentary filmmaker 648. Two words: aging boomers.649. Bristol Palin isn't the only one. Teen birth rates are up for the first time in 15 years, and many blame Bush's brainchild: abstinence-only education.650. Having a black president would not be insignificant.651. Surely you remember that scene in Election, when Matthew Broderick's character tossed a couple of ballots in the trash bin and changed the outcome of the election? Yeah, that happens in real life, too.652. John McCain has an explicit, stated intention to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Rose Pomponio

\nAge 97First voted in 1932. She was born eight years before women were guaranteed the vote throughout the United States.I don't remember women marching in the street, but I recall men booing. I remember my mother would go with my father to cast her vote, and I think he usually talked her into voting for the same man. There was so much corruption in those days-we lived in a changing Chicago neighborhood and we had one Italian precinct captain who'd go around and want everybody to vote for his man. My father would never vote for him, so when Thanksgiving came around, the precinct captain would give out turkeys to everybody but us. The first person I voted for was Franklin D. Roosevelt, and then little Harry Truman. Beth Truman was a regular little homebody-she had her card club, and they'd come to the White House to play every month. FDR wasn't as faithful to Eleanor, even if she did give him five sons. He wanted his secretary, I guess. Some things never change.
654-783. 130 journalists (and counting) have been killed while on duty in Iraq since the war began.
784. You voted for prom queen at your school. Ditto season two of American Idol.785. Public housing is in a sorry state, and Barack Obama's policies fall short of a pledge to fix it. He prefers mixed-income, public-private partnerships.786. Even though his kids go to private school, Obama supports public schools.787. Even though his kids went to private school, McCain supports school choice.
788. No one wants to read the equivalent of "Dewey Defeats Truman" on Wednesday. Don't let it be close.789. Your vote is just as important as that of a self-righteous Hollywood A-lister or an impassioned AM radio blowhard.790. Your father hasn't voted in decades, and he's too much of an asshole to talk about it.791-812. If you're a woman, this is only your 22nd opportunity to do so in a Presidential Election, but women now vote more than men do.813. Only you can prevent forest fires.

Newt Gingrich

Author of Rediscovering God in America and former speaker of the house814. The world is an inherently dangerous place. Things that are now going very well can very quickly go bad. When reading the news about war and disaster in other countries, I am always reminded that, were it not for the right leadership throughout our country's history, these terrible things could just as easily be happening in our cities and neighborhoods. Voting is the process by which we choose our leaders, and thus the process by which we choose the future for our families, our communities, and our country.
815-919. 51 countries and territories in the world are not free, 54 are only partly free, and sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between the two. That means that there are billions the world over who can't vote, or who can, but their ballots are chucked if they're for the wrong guy. To keep track of it all, the democracy think tank Freedom House publishes an annual tally of each country's track record-basically a look at who has it worse or at least as good as you do, democratically speaking.
\n920. Because we're counting on you by Felix Sockwell\n
Some countries are murkier than others. Behold, for example, the United Arab Emirates, home to the wacked-out international playground of Dubai: They wear the garb of modernity and are home to Al Jazeera, but the country is still a dictatorship, and thus not free. Other not-free countries stage sham elections then openly disregard the results. In Uzbekistan's last election, in 2007, for instance, President Islam Karimov took a whopping 88 percent of the tally. He has also won every election since 1991. In Zimbabwe, meanwhile, Robert Mugabe lost a parliamentary election in March but decided to stay put-classic "not-free."Then there are the partly free countries. From all appearances, Hong Kong seems free: it enjoys freedom of the press and of assembly, has elections and, for 14 years running, has boasted the world's freest economy. But living under China's "one country, two systems" rule makes it only partly free, because only half of Hong Kong's legislators are elected. The other half-including its chief executive-are appointed by Beijing. Since Beijing won't grant the former British colony universal suffrage until at least 2017, the peninsula will be just partly free for the near future.
\n921.To make it cooler By CHIP WASS\n
922. The Bradley Effect is a recipe for last-minute plot twists. (Look it up.)923. Your girlfriend dumped you to go work for Obama, and how many times in your life will you get to cast a spite vote?
924. George Washington would have wanted you to.925. You oppose federally mandated universal health coverage. Medicaid sure doesn't work well.926. These presidential candidates raised more than a billion dollars in funds, just to pay to convince you to vote for them.927. A new law prohibits reporters from reporting on soldiers' injuries unless they have their signed written permissionin advance.

928. Thanks to the 24th Amendment, you can do it for free.

929. Even though no one seems to agree how many people have died since we invaded Iraq, 90,000 dead civilians is a safe estimate.


Michael PollanAuthor of The Omnivore's Dilemma930. Over the last eight years, the government has taken steps to radically curtail our liberties and erode some of the bedrock principles of our republic-from undermining habeas corpus to conducting torture in our name. To decline to vote is to tacitly accept the administration's redefinition of the republic; to vote for a new government this fall is to reject the project and, we can hope, begin to roll it back.
931. The average distance to a polling place in Los Angeles is about half a mile. You can walk that. Even in Los Angeles.932-958. We've been able to preserve the sanctity of the Constitution and amend it 27 times.
959. The election won't be determined by an NBA referee.960. Mama didn't raise no fool.

961. You can take some credit when things go well.


Allen St. Pierre

\nExecutive director of NORML, a nonprofit lobbying organization for legalization of marijuana962. The Bush administration has taken one of the most aggressive stances against cannabis ever-even compared to Reagan's Pollyannaish campaigns of the 1980s. Since Bush took office, over 5.3 million citizens have been busted on pot charges, almost 90 percent for possession only. I think it's time for a change. To date, McCain has said he does not support patients' access to medicinal cannabis and will continue the current administration's policies. Obama has flipped-flopped on the larger issue, first supporting decriminalization, but, when he was pressed by the conservative Washington Times, he said he supports the current federal laws. Still, it is my personal view that cannabis consumers in America will fare much better under Obama than under McCain.
963. Your polling place is really easy to find: New York electioneer William "As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it?" Tweed has been dead for 153 years and it's still fun to make him roll over in his grave.
1117. "The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all." -John F. Kennedy

1118-1127. The Bill of Rights was really well-written.

1128. You want the troops to come home.1129. 20 percent of registered voters who didn't vote in 2004 said they were too busy to do so, and that makes them sound like people you don't want to know.

1130. Puffy was right.

1131. Despite what cable news networks love to tell us, there's no such thing as one Mark Penn-anointed, microsliced-and-diced demographic segment that decides who becomes president. There's just you.1132. More Americans have died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan than did in the Revolutionary War.1133. Your parents are voting for the other guy.1134-1148. The current presidential cabinet is made up of: Michael Mukasey, attorney general; Edward Schafer, secretary of agriculture; Carlos Gutierrez, secretary of commerce; Robert Gates, secretary of defense; Margaret Spellings, secretary of education; Sam Bodman, secretary of energy; Michael Leavitt, secretary of health and human services; Michael Chertoff, secretary of homeland security; Steve Preston, secretary of housing and urban development; Dirk Kempthorne, secretary of the interior; Elaine Chao, secretary of labor; Condoleezza Rice, secretary of state; Mary Peters, secretary of transportation; Henry Paulson Jr., secretary of treasury; James Peake, secretary of veterans affairs.

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