Just Plain Wrong

Ideologically speaking, our country is pretty much split 50/50, give or take (of course this is just a hunch and based off of multiple polls that show the Presidential race as basically a dead-heat).  With the split, every vote matters, and as such, people who are “on the fence” can be easily intimidated by friends, family, and employers.  You read that right, employers.

Historically, when people think of employers nudging employees to vote one way or another, they most likely think of unions pushing members to vote for the Democrat.  While this was true in the past (the 1920s), such practices are uncommon in modern times, especially with the reduction of power for a lot of unions.  That being said, it seems like employer intimidation is still alive and well in 2012.

Take, for example, the Koch brothers.  They basically sent out an edict to all employees saying to vote for Romney and all Republicans, or risk losing their job; the inference being that re-electing President Obama will cause layoffs and downsizing.  This is really not the surprising to me, given that they are not hesitant in voicing their support for all things Republican, which is certainly their right.  Other companies have followed their lead as well, including Westgate Resorts, ASG Software Solutions, and auto parts manufacturer Lacks Enterprises.

Inferring to employees that they will lose their jobs if they vote against the wishes of the employer seems to me to be a clear violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which abolishes any “prerequisite to voting.”  In these instances, the prerequisite being that the employees vote Republican or risk losing their job.

Even if such tactics are not in violation of the Voting Rights Act, anytime an employer attempts to influence the vote of their employees, in any direction, is just plain wrong.  Part of the beauty of being an American citizen is our right to vote, and so as long as I have the right to vote, I will vote how I see fit, regardless of what my employer thinks I should do.  An educated and informed electorate is vital to the continued success of our country, and any subversion of information is insane.  While the Supreme Court, in its Citizens United ruling, basically allows corporations to pour millions of dollars into our elections, the choice still comes down to you and me.  Corporations are not people, and no amount of money should be able to buy an election.  Maybe I am being too optimistic about the electorate.  Maybe, as a whole, our electorate has become too lazy to care about being a part of the process; maybe our electorate wants to be told how to vote, or better yet, just allow those with the most money to pick our leaders.  That model works so well in China and Iran, where regular citizens just do not matter one bit.  I prefer to not live in such a manner; I prefer to think that my vote still counts, and that when I vote on November 6, I am contributing to the democratic process.


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