This is where you are misunderstanding.
If one has the power, the ability, the way/knowledge to actually help the baby, and he does not, then he should have known better. He should have been responsible and saved the baby. The parents are equally (more so, actually) responsible.
The difference in the baby and the car/kid example, and the voting discussion, is that in the case of the baby, you have the ability to effect/change something, where as the kid/voting you have 0 ability to effect/change something.
I'm not having the ability to change the country, my vote is useless, it doesn't do anything (neither does yours, which is why I said I don't complain anyways).
The better example of what you're saying would be if there is a baby drowning on the other side of a glass wall that I cannot break, where I cannot save him, can I complain about the parents who are on the right side of the wall that can actually help the baby but choose not to?
I think it is you who are misunderstanding. That glass wall that you perceive as preventing you from making a difference does not exist. I know very well the feeling that it does but, it doesn’t. You can make a difference. In your neighborhood, town, county and by that make a differenc in the world. Believe it or not the person you elect dog catcher affects peoples lives. I know it sounds corny but, cliches are born of truth. The person you help get elected County Sheriff will affect your life more than the Pres. ever will.
Your arguments while intelligent and well written come across as an effort to explain and justify why you feel that you are entitled to all of the benefits of citizenship without standing up and fulfilling your civic duties and your responsibility to control government.
I don’t think that is really the case. I think you just haven’t lived long enough to realize that the “they” that you blame for screwing the world up is actually “we”and apathy is one of the tools "we" use to do it.