Voting: Why Declining to Participate Is Not An Act of Protest But One of Surrender

Just a few thoughts on going to vote before I seek my bed for a few hours…and also I’m going to say “fuck”…a lot.  You were warned.  Don’t pretend to be shocked.

Today, the country votes on midterm elections.  I’ve heard this called an “unimportant” election.  Allow me to air an opinion on this.  In a representative government, there are no fucking unimportant elections.  If your community votes on the post of local dog catcher, that, too, is an important vote.  And yes, you should fucking participate.  People seem to think that the only vote they should cast is for the President of the United States, as if that’s the only one that actually matters.  They couldn’t be more incorrect, but that hasn’t stopped them from keeping voting habits like it’s a god blighted American Idol poll and voting for the people who make their laws, enforce their laws, and levy their  taxes isn’t worthy of their consideration.  Did you know that the Millennial Generation is bigger than the Baby Boomers.  The difference?  The Baby Boomers fucking vote, and they vote with a vengeance.  Because it’s how you get people you want to represent you into office.  By fucking voting for them.  Funny how that works, isn’t it?

 

Your Vote = Your Voice

I’m not going to rant a whole lot here, because I feel like I’ve been doing that for the past month.  What I will say is that I’m disturbed by the overwhelming number of young people I see who think that declining to vote is somehow a valid form of protest.  It isn’t.  Do they not comprehend that when they don’t show up, it doesn’t mean that anyone is going to care.  Because someone shows up. Someone is voting, and that’s all that matters.  Unless they’ve found a way to keep everyone from voting, regardless of party affiliation or political belief, it’s a completely neutered boycott.  What they’re doing is allowing those who do choose to vote to have all the say in who will be elected to represent us all.  And if the non-voters don’t like whose elected, they lose the ability to cry foul, because they didn’t even put in their two cents when it mattered.

What is this insane concept that by not voting they can motivate any sort of change?  All that will result from them not voting is more laws with which they don’t agree, more government policies for which they have no sympathy, and more of what they do not like in the present guard.  Not voting is tantamount to remaining silent when a great wrong is witnessed.  For those who have countered with the observation that politicians are corrupt, that one percent of the population controls 45 percent of the wealth, and other similar arguments I say this:  And your not exercising your right to have a say in who’s elected will change that how exactly? Yes, politicians are corrupt…all of them.  They always have been.  That’s not new.  The difference in now and “way back when” is that they used to have to have a day job.  Now being a politician is their job.  I’ll save the false conception of some bygone era when things were ideal–or just better than they are now–for another day.  That’s a big subject all its own.

 

There’s so much more that I could say, but I’ve been saying it and the only people who ever actually indicate that they’ve heard me are those who already know their polling place and for whom they are likely going to vote.  In closing, I urge you to vote.  I don’t care how you vote, just that you do.  There will be more for your consideration than just a single position…smaller and more local positions will be on that ballot, as will items for legislative consideration.  Do yourself a huge favor and pull up the ballot issues you’ll be asked to make a decision about at the polls, and then fucking go there and vote, y’all.  It’s a trip through Google to find your ballot issues…really simple.  And I’ll even help you find your polling place if you don’t know precisely where to go.  Follow this link:

http://yourfuckingpollingplace.com/

Good night…and you know the rest.

“Certainly the game is rigged. Don’t let that stop you; if you don’t bet, you can’t win.”  ~Robert Heinlein

 

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2 thoughts on “Voting: Why Declining to Participate Is Not An Act of Protest But One of Surrender

  1. People not voting is a sad reality. On a local channel today, they posted the percentage of eligible voters they expected to vote today. Discouraging. Yet I will continue to hear the complaints of the many who were of the percentage that stayed home. Great post as always Erin.

    1. I think social icons such as John Stewart publicly declaring their refusal to vote hasn’t helped. While I like him a great deal, I was dismayed about that. Yes, our system is flawed and many politicians are rotten–but to refuse to vote and then prognosticate that the republicans will sweep the polls is a self-fulfilling prophesy. I’m not particularly hot for anyone on Georgia’s ballot, but I did my research and I went to vote. Because nothing will be fixed by sitting the game out.

      Thanks for your thoughts, dear.

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