Walter Hoye

Voter Turnout

In Abortion, Special Edition on July 4, 2011 at 12:00 am

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Voter Turnout

The basic formula for determining whether someone will vote is: 1

PB + D > C

P is defined as the probability that an individual’s vote will affect the outcome of an election. B is defined as the individual’s perceived benefit that would result if that individual’s party or candidate were elected. D once stood for democracy or civic duty, but today represents the satisfaction an individual gets from voting. C is the cost (i.e., time, effort, financial, etc.) of voting. Given that P is virtually zero in most elections, PB is also near zero. As such, D becomes the most important element in voter turnout. In other words, for an individual to vote, the satisfaction resulting from voting must outweigh the time, effort and/or the financial cost of voting.

Voter Values and Beliefs

Transfer ValuesValues are deeply held beliefs about what is good, right, and appropriate. Values are deep-seated and remain constant over time. Values are accumulated from childhood based on the teachings and observations of our parents, teachers, religious leaders, and other influential and powerful people. Beliefs are conclusions we accept as true regardless of others opinions or evidence from other sources. Our beliefs are derived from our values.

Voter Values Transmitters

“One of the truest tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised.” — Chinua Achebe 2

Black VotersIf the satisfaction we receive from our actions are linked directly to the values and beliefs we embrace, then voter values and beliefs are “the most important element in voter turnout”. If people that vote, vote their values, then the candidates and policies that win elections reflect the values and beliefs of the majority of voters. If the candidates and policies that win elections reflect the values and beliefs of the majority of voters, then the values transmitters that appeal to the majority of voters are determining our social policies. If the values transmitters that appeal to the majority of voters are determining our social policies, are Biblically-Based, Christ-Centered values and beliefs being transmitted if abortion on demand is still legal after 2,006 Sunday morning sermons since Monday, January 22nd, 1973? 3

Independence Day Celebration

“What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July?” — Frederick Douglass 4

Frederick DouglassAs I consider the Second Continental Congress’ vote to separate the Thirteen (13) Colonies from Great Britain and the fact that many of the members of the Second Continental Congress, some even signers of our Declaration of Independence, were slave owners who personally profited from the slave trade, I cannot help but wonder if history is repeating itself today. With many of our publicly elected leaders, supporting taxpayer funded abortion on demand, exactly what values are we as a country celebrating on the 4th of July? It appears to me that we as a country have not learned much from the lessons of life and liberty in our past. In fact and in light of the fifty million lives lost to legally induced abortion since 1973, I believe Frederick Douglass (born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, February 1818 — February 20, 1895) was right when he said: “There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States at this very hour.” 5

Brothers, we really need to talk.

1. The basic idea behind this formula was developed by Anthony Downs in An Economic Theory of Democracy. published in 1957. The formula itself was developed by William H. Riker and Peter Ordeshook and published in “A Theory of the Calculus of Voting.” American Political Science Review. 1968. 62:25-42.
2. Chinua Achebe, Nigerian Writer whose ‘Things Fall Apart’ (1959) described how imposed Western values led to social and psychological disorientation of traditional African society.
3. Isaiah 55:11: “So shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”
4. “What To The Slave Is The 4th Of July?”, Frederick Douglass 1852 Speech, Independence Day Speech at Rochester, 1852 ( Frederick Douglass (A former slave himself, he became a leader in the 19th Century Abolitionist Movement).
5. Ibid.


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