Washington, DC

Do You Have a Moral Right to Preach About Politics if You Do Not Vote?

Joel Eisenberg

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I recently noticed an old friend from Washington, D.C. had been sharing political advice on his social media platforms. Of course, there is nothing wrong there; I would be disingenuous if I said otherwise, especially as I have not exactly been shy in expressing my own political opinions.

But those with whom I engage, regardless of political viewpoints, are part of the machine. That is to say, they are involved and care enough about their opinion to exert their right as U.S. citizens and vote.

Constituents of our two major political parties have rarely, if ever, been so split. When last night I read post after post from this individual complaining about politics in general while expressing why it was more dignified to not assert this particular Constitutional right, and I had an epiphany.

He had chosen to be “dignified,” he said.

Posting platitudes about “dignity” when it comes to our public officials, however, is utterly meaningless if one does not vote to try to make things better, and I expressed that opinion to him via a comment.

His response: “Anyone who attacks any presidential candidate has no dignity.“

Most of the talk backers agreed with my original comment, which was soon erased by my friend. He then erased other comments that did not share his point of view, depriving us all of an opportunity for honest debate on the matter.

By erasing all civil and constructive comments one does not like on a given post, there is no credibility.

To my mind, no one should discuss politics in public or private, much less preach about what’s right and wrong with someone’s political views, if one does not vote.

I am certainly not going to out anyone, but I was seriously disappointed.

I learned several things from my friend, though: He believes the body politic is ugly. He’s right. It is. This showed me two opposing sides can agree on certain issues. He also believes we should all simply love one another. Once more, he’s right. We should.

But that’s not reality.

He believes many voters have become ugly as a result. He’s right yet again. We have.

And we have too a long road to recovery.

Pollyanna attitudes will not change the state of the world today. Voting en masse holds the promise of enabling elected leadership to do exactly that while holding our leaders to account.

Ignoring what is arguably our largest Constitutional privilege is, especially during these volatile times, every bit as reckless and dangerous as blindly accepting today’s status quo.

I believe that statement to be imperative. Please let me know your thoughts.

Thank you for reading.

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I am an award-winning author, screenwriter for film and television, and producer. My mission on News Break is to share socially important perspectives on both culture and pop-culture. Member of PEN America, and the WGA.

Northridge, CA
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