Nightmare in the voting booth

Oct. 31 is around the corner, and when I think about Halloween and the Halloween season, the first thing that comes to mind besides candy, scantily clad women and pumpkins, is fear. “We have nothing to fear but fear itself,” one of our greatest presidents, FDR, said back in 1933. Nowadays, though, all we have to fear is nuclear war, Wall Street collapse, a gastrointestinal pandemic on campus and perhaps the scariest thing of all: uninformed voters.Democracy, by definition, requires power to be vested in the people. And with all that power, you would think more people would be involved in political culture in some way. However, only roughly 50 percent of those of voting age do vote, and a third of them are labeled as “know-nothing.” It is becoming apparent that our political system relies on those who either don’t care enough to vote or, in an even scarier example, those who do vote, but probably know nothing more than a candidate’s name.It’s hard for many of us trapped inside the intellectual realm of the University to see that a majority of the American people are as uninformed as an English major taking the MCATs. If you look at past figures, voter turnout and voter knowledgeability has drastically declined since the 1960s. Ever since the glory days of voter turnout, politicians have become scandalous and untrustworthy, so it’s no wonder why more Americans can name every member of the Simpsons’ family, but not the chief justice of the Supreme Court.Political lethargy is a sweeping pandemic on the rise, worse than the gastrointestinal one on campus. Voters either don’t care enough to know or don’t know enough to care, and sadly, those in the know will be at the mercy of those who know Homer Simpson more intimately than the person they will elect president. If under-informed, lethargic voters electing a president they know nothing about isn’t scarier than an apple on Halloween from that creepy guy that lives on your street, then I don’t know what is.No matter what FDR says, I say we have nothing to fear but an uninformed, lethargic voter and the results of their uninformed decision. With that in mind, happy Halloween, kids, and happy voting.