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"Vanishing Voter" By Thomas E. Patterson.

1002 words - 4 pages

Thomas E. Patterson, the author of the book "The Vanishing Voter", explains how low voter turnout is affecting American's lives and improvements that could be done to prevent it from influencing democracy. Democracy is put at risk when the voting rate is low or in decline. People pay less attention to government, causing them to have less faith in politicians; they become less involved in activities that increase citizenship and community awareness; and democracy becomes a sense of false theory in America. These things have a direct effect on people and the society. By trying to increase voter turnout, society, democracy, and people are helped to achieve their desired degree of representation in the current governmental system.As people pay less attention to the government and news, they tend to have less of an interest in politics, causing them to have less trust in voting and their politicians. Voting becomes another boring experience that takes up too much time and energy. Their lack of interest causes them not to worry about researching the candidates. Therefore, they spend more time watching the mostly biased news. The lack of truth in the important stories that the news reports, triggers people to believe the false information and lose almost or all trust in their politicians. Patterson states that: "In 1964, 76 percent had said they trusted the national government to do the right thing 'most of the time'; in 1994, only 21 percent held this opinion, the lowest level ever recorded" (Patterson 80). This mistrust in the government and the people who run it creates a never ending domino effect that causes individuals to have less trust in the government and so they steadily decrease their voting, and it keeps decreasing because of doubt. The mistrust and voter decline becomes a pattern in which few can release themselves. Patterson also expresses that people lost more than their trust in politics: "Changing lifestyles and mores contributed to a decline in personal trust and respect for authority, which affected how Americans saw all institutions, including political ones" (Patterson 82). With this decreased trust in politics and many other establishments, people do not feel the need to participate, which causes less voting. This diminishes confidence even more, causing politics to become an outdated sense of leadership.Community involvement is essential for a government and country to thrive. Without the people, democracy fails because there is not enough funding for candidates to prove their stance, and basic jobs must be left aside because there are not enough people willing to do them without pay. Democracy is supposed to work for the better of the people but without the people, democracy could not be put into its best design. "Although high participation by itself does not trigger radical change, a flood of new voters into the electorate could possibly do it" (Patterson 13). By not voting, people are denying themselves many changes that...

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