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A letter from alumnus about Professor, why not vote?

How interesting and revealing it was to learn from a recent article in the news that Dr. Larry Bartels, "a distinguished professor of political science" at our university, boasts that since moving to New Jersey in 1991, he "has not voted in any election, has not registered to vote, and could not care less who is in or out in our State Capitol." Also, he goes on, he has "never worked in a political campaign, and the last time he voted was in the 1984 Presidential election."

Now, aren't those interesting views for one instructing our youth in "political science?" Tell us, Professor, from your sheltered academic grove, is this the position you advocate for all of us or is it simply the view of American politics which should be exclusive to those who form the minds of our educated youth? Surely bipartisanship or nonpartisanship is a defensible stance in the classroom, but how can one justify a complete lack of political participation in our democracy, flawed as it may be ? Perhaps you don't care who "is in or out in our State Government" - or even in our National Government, Professor, but thank God many of us still do care certainly enough to exercise one of the most valuable rights offered to the United States citizen. A right for which better men and women than you or I have been willing to give their lives. Princeton in the nation's service ? How about Princeton on the nation's sidelines ?

Wil Britten '45
Medford, N.J.

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