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My Vote Won’t Make a Difference: A Bigger Myth than God

Democracy is a lot like Atheism. Both are grounded in the belief that there is no sovereign, no ultimate arbiter of right and wrong who will steer us in the proper direction if we just listen closely enough and, most importantly, obey. 

Not everyone in a democracy is an Atheist, and not all Atheists think democracy is a good idea, but Atheists in America do. So why is it that Atheist voter turnout is so low?
 
There are probably as many reasons as there are non-voters, but after years of listening to people talk about all aspects of voting, I’ve come to understand that a lot of us have never had the opportunity to take a close look at what democracy is and what it isn’t. 

Democracy is born of the understanding that when more than a handful of human beings are thrown together, at least some of them will want to govern. 
The problem of deciding who ends up in charge can be solved in a number of ways. Birthright and force have been the two most common in history. 

Other choices include lotteries, omens, and default. Democracy solves the problem by placing the burden of the decision squarely on your shoulders and mine. 
And I do mean burden because democracy is not easy; it was never meant to be. Just like the word “god,” the word “easy” appears nowhere in the Constitution. 

Democracy is not a synonym for freedom because it doesn’t promise that you will get your way—not even once in your life—after the votes are counted. 

Democracy doesn’t guarantee voting procedures without deep flaws and deliberate complications (but it does offer ways to remedy them, albeit with a lot of work and never overnight).

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Local charges of Life
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