There was an election on Tuesday.

From the turnout at the polls, it appears most people sent a message: "Who really gives a darn?"

In Carbon County, the voter turnout was less than 20 percent. That means fewer than one in five of the registered voters cared enough to visit the polls.

It's been said that one of the main problems of the United States today is apathy.

It might be more that people are feeling helpless. Government keeps wasting money, doing deeds against the will of the majority and trampling on the middle class.

Look at the salaries and perks of state lawmakers and other government employees.

Look how many lawmakers get perks such as tickets to sporting events and concerts which would cost us hundreds of dollars.

Talk to John Q. Public and they'll probably tell you how little they think of politicians. Polls prove this.

A September 2012 article in The Washington Post said:

"Nearly 71 percent of all Americans and eight in 10 political independents have negative views of politicians, including Democrats, Republicans and any other stripe. Only the direction of the economy came in for more negative reviews with a 74 percent negative assessment of the direction of the U.S. economy late last year. Congress and Wall Street financial institutions were close behind."

It's understandable that there wasn't as much interest in Tuesday's balloting than when there are local contests.

It's also a fact that people feel things have gone too far for them to make a difference through elections.

What's wrong with government?

Here's a few things. State lawmakers are overpaid, appointed agencies don't have to answer to anyone, and agencies like the DEP, EPA, IRS, etc. make their own rules (who says we have taxation with representation). Some agencies like the Turnpike Commission give enormous perks to members such as new cars without any oversight, and laws are passed with little regard for the majority.

We're not talking about trampling on constitutional rights. But when the Pledge of Allegiance has a wording change to accommodate a minority, when foreign languages are forced into schools and businesses because minorities aren't learning our language fast enough, and when our own citizens can't afford to buy a house or get an education while billions of dollars are shipped to foreign countries, that gets a lot of good, decent, hard-working Americans angry.

Why vote if you can't change anything?

Forget about the spiel that "your vote counts." Things don't change in Harrisburg or Washington. And it's unlikely they will no matter who gets elected.

Of course, by not voting, you only embolden those who are greedy and don't do the right thing.

By RON GOWER

rgower@tnonline.com