Jewish World Review Oct. 25, 2004 / 10 Mar-Cheshvan, 5765

Tucker Carlson

Tucker Carlson
JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
David Limbaugh
Michelle Malkin
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports

Not voting is also a choice | Last week I closed my TV show by pointing out that Americans shouldn't feel an obligation to vote in this year's presidential election. Voting is an honorable thing. But if you don't support any of the candidates in the race, there's no shame in staying home.

That's what I said. Many of you didn't agree. In fact, judging by the response we got, many of you were outraged. "Shame on you!" That was the essence of the average e-mail. Not one person wrote in to take my side.

So let me stand in my own defense. Deciding not to vote is not the same as not bothering to. It's a conscious choice, made for a reason. And the reason is this: A vote is an endorsement. When you punch the circle next to a candidate's name, you're backing that candidate's program. It's like signing a petition, or writing a letter of recommendation. You've just vouched for someone. You're now implicated in the decisions he's made, and in the ones he will make.

But what if you don't agree with those decisions? Then don't do it. Refuse to sign the petition. Decline to send the recommendation. Don't vote. Just because one of the candidates is going to win, doesn't mean you have to help.

Keep that in mind. Act on your conscience. And most of all, think for yourself. You'll honor our system best when you do.

Donate to JWR

Every weekday publishes what many in Washington and the media consider must-reading. Sign up for our daily update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Tucker Carlson is a journalist, college instructor, public speaker and host and managing editor of the PBS show "Tucker Carlson: Unfiltered." His first book is "Politicians, Partisans, and Parasites: My Adventures in Cable News."(Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.) Comment by clicking here.

10/12/04: The X Prize
09/27/04: Authenticity vs. hypocrisy
09/20/04: Appealing to the ‘Alzheimer's vote’ — no joke
09/13/04:Who are our soldiers in Iraq?
09/07/04: Racial diversity at the RNC
08/30/04: Here's a scary thought: Political expression has been criminalized and nobody seems to care
08/16/04: Heterosexuality as a political ploy

© 2004, Tucker Carlson