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Acadiana Lifestyle

From the publisher - December 2012

12/06/2012 10:05AM ● Published by Aimee Cormier

An Epidemic of ApathyAn Epidemic of Apathy

Has the U.S. turned into a nation of apathetic people? After enduring the last four years of the worse economic activity, high unemployment, and burgeoning national debt, less than 58 percent of the possible voters went to the polls in the presidential election. And there were plenty of seats in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives at stake in this election, too. Add to this many local and state-wide races and ballot issues and one can’t help but wonder why so many of us are apathetic.

Looking deeper at the population statistics, the U.S. population includes over 303 million people of voting age, but almost 100 million of these have not bothered to register to vote. Can all of these unregistered people be oblivious to the fact that they can influence the government by casting their ballots? Or do they even care what the government does for or to them?

According to the Bipartisan Research Center, the percentage of those voting in 2012 was down from 2008. It appears that the percentage peaked in 2008 and now is going lower. Their estimates based as a percent of eligible voters who turned out is as follows: 2000, 54.2 percent; in 2004, 60.4 percent; in 2008, 62.3 percent; and in 2012, 57.5 percent. It is saddening to see how so many of us take our freedom for granted by not becoming involved in the democratic process.

Another example of this epidemic of apathy is occurring in Rhode Island where the governor has decided to rename the Christmas Tree as simply a “holiday tree.” Why wouldn’t all of the people of that state rise up in protest of such nonsense? Christmas Day is a national holiday. Why should we not refer to the Christmas Tree as just that? Many of you are wondering why I should even care about what’s going on in Rhode Island. It’s a glaring example about how U.S. citizens are becoming completely apathetic about so many things that affect their lives.

One doesn’t have to look very far to find an example of just how much a single vote really does count. In the November election, voters in the parishes adjacent to the city of New Orleans voted on whether to remove the tolls on the Mississippi River bridge known as the “Crescent City Connection.” With over 300,000 votes cast on this ballot issue, it passed by a mere 16 votes. From the result, one can’t help but wonder if the apathetic attitude on the part of the registered voters who did not vote on Nov. 6 accounted for this outcome.

My suggestion to you is to rekindle your enthusiasm and passion for the values and beliefs upon which our country was founded. Encourage all of those within your area of influence to do likewise. Together we can play an important role in charting the future course of our country.
On behalf of our entire staff, I would like to extend our best wishes to you and your family for a very Merry Christmas. Let’s work together to make 2013 a year to remember.

Do you have a suggestion as to how we can awaken the apathetic among us?

Verse of the Month
“May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting encouragement and good hope through his grace, encourage your hearts and strengthen them in every good deed and word.” 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

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