Apathetic vs. Enthusiastic

Sportin’ my campaign picks for the 2024 presidential election – John Dutton and Rip Wheeler – the perfect combination of brains and brawn.

By Patti Parish-Kaminski, Publisher

I really don’t understand apathy. Now don’t get me wrong. I understand the meaning of the word – I simply don’t subscribe to it. For the life of me, I can’t think of one particular thing that I am apathetic about. I feel a certain kind of way about everything. I just do. It’s how I’m made.

I’m naturally enthusiastic. Not a cheerleader type enthusiastic, but I do get excited about things. And I’m definitely curious and interested about a plethora of topics, especially people. Maybe it’s the journalist in me. I believe I can always learn about a particular subject or person, and I truly feel obliged to do so – all the time. I think it makes life interesting. Plus, it annoys Mr. Kaminski – my penchant for talking to strangers, watching random documentaries, voraciously reading and sharing tomes on unusual topics. I call that a win-win.

So, when less than 50% of registered – yes, I said REGISTERED – voters turn out to actually vote in a general election in Fort Bend, it annoys me. I mean, if you are a registered voter, the verb there tells you what you are supposed to do: vote. And with early voting lasting 12 days plus election day, you have 13 days to conveniently work a five-minute obligation into your schedule. I mean, you signed up to do it – you registered – so what happened Fort Bend?

I know lots of folks have been sick lately, so maybe there was a bunch in the hospital instead of at the polls, so I checked. Turns out there were a lot of folks at the Emergency Departments, flu primarily, but most didn’t check in. They got meds, went home and got better in seven to ten days – thank God. And there were quite a few children in the hospital with flu and such, but here’s the thing: babies can’t vote. Perplexing, huh?

I keep hearing the term “voter apathy” repeatedly, and I just don’t get it. Apathy is defined as “a lack of interest, enthusiasm or concern.” But here’s the rub. Everywhere I turn post-election, I see or hear people fussin’ about the election not turning out a certain type of way. Now I understand your concern, if you voted, if you exercised your constitutional right that our veterans have fought and died for. You remember our veterans? The ones we celebrated nationally last week?

And maybe, just maybe, all of these people fussin’ and hollerin’ and spittin’ and spewin’ did vote. But guess what? According to Fort Bend County’s “unofficial results” as of November 15, 2022 at 4:19:59 PM, only 47.97% of the registered voters in Fort Bend voted in the general election this year. Of the 524,590 registered voters in our county – also “unofficial” – 251,629 of them actually voted.

Of course, since these numbers are time-stamped, it looks like these folks are still counting seven days post-election day. Now I know math is hard, but I have questions. I don’t really understand how we can watch American Idol, vote on our phones during a four-minute commercial break and find out who America voted for as the season’s winner. It’s downright perplexing.

I looked up how many Fort Benders voted in the 2018 general election. According to the Texas Secretary of State, 60% of the 428,679 registered voters turned out, meaning 257,794 of them voted – only 6,165 more than in the 2022 general election – so far.

For the record, I voted – first day of early voting. Mother always said I was an overachiever. And I’ve already picked my candidate for 2024. It’s the man who proudly exclaims, “Damn right I did it,” as his campaign slogan. At least John Dutton owns up to what he does, and there’s not an apathetic bone in his body. I like that. Plus, his running mate has mad skills. See y’all next week – on the porch!

Patti Parish-Kaminski

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