12 votes

The non-voter

7 comments

  1. Good_Apollo
    Link
    I was an apathetic non-voter and now Donald Trump is running the United States. I learned my lesson.

    I was an apathetic non-voter and now Donald Trump is running the United States. I learned my lesson.

    13 votes
  2. RapidEyeMovement
    (edited )
    Link
    This is an older article but I thought it was note worthy to post.

    This is an older article but I thought it was note worthy to post.

    Each election there are three choices and the winner is always not voting. In 2016 100 million people chose this option, far far more than people who voted for Trump. Or Clinton. “None of the above” effectively wins every presidential election, and it isn’t even close.

    That isn’t to say non-voters don’t have views about politics....They are the fans with no money on the line, only in it for possible bragging rights. That is different from the wealthy, successful, and highly educated. We all have money on the line, whether we acknowledge it or not. From the business community, lobbyists, non-profits, and think tanks, who explicitly have cash on the line, to the verified accounts fighting on Twitter whose job and status is tethered to the winner

    5 votes
  3. [5]
    JXM
    Link
    Man, this article pisses me off. If you don’t vote, you are throwing away your biggest chance to have a say in the future of the country. I can understand when people say that they think your...

    Man, this article pisses me off. If you don’t vote, you are throwing away your biggest chance to have a say in the future of the country. I can understand when people say that they think your opinion doesn’t matter to politicians, but this is your most direct chance to remind them that you do matter.

    While we may not be players on the field, we are part of the team. Our life and careers will change, sometimes hugely, depending on who wins. Politics is our sport, our game. It is built by and for us.

    If you don’t vote, you are not part of the team. You aren’t even watching the game at home. You’re saying the game doesn’t matter and doing something entirely different like taking a walk in the park while the game is on TV.

    3 votes
    1. tempestoftruth
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I may be mistaken, but in the section you quoted, I believe the "we" the author is talking about are "the wealthy, successful, and highly educated...the business community, lobbyists, non-profits,...

      I may be mistaken, but in the section you quoted, I believe the "we" the author is talking about are "the wealthy, successful, and highly educated...the business community, lobbyists, non-profits, and think tanks" only, the implication being these people do care who wins. Compare this to the circumstances of the average American:

      who wins isn’t going to change their lives, as they see it. Politics isn’t their sport, isn’t their game, isn’t built by or for them, as they reckon it.

      Emphasis mine.

      The former group are the people who have a reason to care about politics, because it will affect their ability to make money. Of course they're going to go vote: if Trump wins, they might make less/more money, depending on who and where they are in the system. The latter group don't have a reason to care, because they aren't trying to make lots of money, they're just trying to stay alive, and who the president is doesn't change the fact that they still live in relative poverty. As they said themselves, be it Clinton or Bush or Obama or Trump, they continue to live in precarity. It's not that these people aren't a part of the team because they don't vote; it's that they don't vote because they aren't a part of the team. And "these people," are most people in this country.

      To be as clear as I can: the implication in the former is that they'd become a part of the team if they voted; the implication in the latter is that they will never be a part of the team (i.e. see any meaningful change in their circumstances) regardless of if they vote or for whom, so they don't vote.

      edit: added context and clarification of main point

      9 votes
    2. [3]
      RapidEyeMovement
      Link Parent
      I'm gonna say something that probably pisses you off, but has been like a mind virus since I read this article. You might not like it, but that is a profound political statement by over half of...

      I'm gonna say something that probably pisses you off, but has been like a mind virus since I read this article.

      “None of the above” effectively wins every presidential election, and it isn’t even close.

      You might not like it, but that is a profound political statement by over half of the populace. That the largest majority in American doesn't think the president of the United States can or will do anything for them.

      “I am just so upset with the whole thing. Fed up. I voted for Obama. Seems like when he left office nothing changed for me. Nothing changed for this neighborhood. So I say, ‘We had a black president and I still working for eight dollars per hour and nothing has changed. Nothing. Ain’t nothing changed. Every single president. Obama. Bush. Clinton. Same thing.”

      Now don't get it twisted I am going to vote in November. I am not advocating for people to not vote in November.

      But for a Large segment of the population this is how they view voting

      Voting means entering institutions that have given them problems. From schools, where they were tested, measured, and prodded endlessly, only to be then ignored, scolded, or demeaned. To municipal buildings where they were taxed, fined, or charged.

      6 votes
      1. mono
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        It's kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy though. Elected officials cater most to people that can potentially elect them. Demographics that don't show up to the polls are ignored because they offer...

        It's kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy though. Elected officials cater most to people that can potentially elect them. Demographics that don't show up to the polls are ignored because they offer no electoral advantage. Not voting doesn't work as a protest against the status quo because it's practically indistinguishable from apathy.

        ‘We had a black president and I still working for eight dollars per hour and nothing has changed. Nothing. Ain’t nothing changed.

        Obama didn't accomplish a lot because he was obstructed by a Republican Congress for all but his first two years, and the GOP dominated state and local elections. Electing the president of your choice isn't going to solve a damned thing if the rest of the government is controlled by his or her opponents because their constituencies actually vote and not just for president.

        10 votes
      2. vord
        Link Parent
        I am a consistent voter. I vote 3rd party. Because I'm privileged enough to not be inconvenienced by voting, but also see how "nothing has fundementally changed." My life didn't significantly...

        I am a consistent voter. I vote 3rd party. Because I'm privileged enough to not be inconvenienced by voting, but also see how "nothing has fundementally changed."

        My life didn't significantly change under any given president or congress in the 18+ years of me being an adult. It's kinda been a contiual sink through the muck.

        Sure, they're have been improvements, but often they are temporary. Even semi-permanent ones like Supreme Court decisions are fragile and a constant target. And they get a lot wrong too. Undoing Obama's few reforms was a key Republican talking point in 2016.

        100 million people can't be wrong.

        4 votes