There's a news story making the rounds that disturbed me on so many levels. A New York University journalism class polled more than 3000 NYU students and found more than half would trade their right to vote for more personal reasons. For many (66%), a year's tuition to NYU would be worth giving up their right to vote. For 20%, all it would take to give up their right to vote...is an iPod Touch. And to give up their right to vote forever, 50% would take a cool million dollars.
Oh, but these same students recognize the importance of voting. Ninety percent of the students who would take a million dollars to give up voting forever said voting was important. Even 70% of the students who would take free tuition for their right to vote said one vote can make a difference, out of the 70.5% of students who said one vote can make a difference.
A lot of numbers, to be sure, but all leading up to one big problem for the country: a country of young people who really don't understand the right to vote. Voting isn't and shouldn't be a commodity to be traded for material goods. And remember, I'm a big fan of capitalism, so it takes something pretty important to get me to say something isn't worth giving up for money. To have college age adults simultaneously say voting is important, but not so important that they wouldn't give it up, should be disturbing to every American.
But something tells me many Americans would want to know how they could get in on the action. One of the great losses we've had in recent decades has been the loss of knowledge of, and dare I say respect for, civics, and it turns out that disrespect and ignorance has been passed on to a new generation.
And, no, I don't buy the students when they say voting is important or that a single vote can make a difference...after they're willing to give up their vote for a flipping iPod. It's the height of intellectual dishonesty and hypocrisy to say voting is important, but you can't be bothered with it. Maybe the fact you're willing to sell away your right to vote should be a sign that you don't get how important the right to vote is or what sacrifices have been made for you to have it in the first place.
Just remember, some places in this world don't have a vote to sell. Be thankful you have a right to vote in the first place, even if you aren't willing to treat it like the treasure it is.