It’s a sad commentary when more Americans feel the need to vote for the next pop star than for strong people to lead our nation.

Last month’s finale of “American Idol’s” fifth season drew 63 million voters — more than the number who voted in the last U.S. presidential election.

Of course, people can’t vote multiple times by telephone in political elections so the numbers are somewhat skewed, but those kinds of numbers still make a statement about the apathy Americans have about who runs our country.

If the liberation of the people of Iraq from the control of Saddam Hussein didn’t prove to Americans we shouldn’t take our freedoms for granted, it’s difficult to say what will.

Perhaps if we turned elections into reality TV, people would get behind them.

You might panic if your favorite candidate was about to be voted off the continent, or forced to eat fat, white slugs. You might then make the effort to support his ideals and beliefs.

But the reality is — though we sometimes think otherwise — politics is not entertainment.

It is your right and your privilege to vote.

Voting earns you a stake in your country’s leadership.

It earns you the knowledge that you do not take democracy and our freedoms for granted.

Not voting means you forfeit rights — including the right to complain Wednesday morning if you don’t like the outcome of Tuesday’s primary election.

Too many Americans are worshipping idols rather than embracing our rights.

Don’t sit “Idol:” Go vote Tuesday.

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