codegakiwi said: Your voting philosophy appears to be, if there aren't any toys I like then I'm not going to play. What if most people followed your advice. Is it a democracy if only a minority of people participate? Do the thousands of people (women, minorities, non-landholding whites) who died, suffered, or were for hundreds of years discriminated against as they fought for the opportunity to have an equal political voice in this country give you any motivation to not tell people, 'it's okay not to vote'?
1. The presidential election is not the only election in the country. I have voted multiple times for state and local elections.
2. It’s already not a democracy; and it never has been. It’s a federal republic with a number of both democratic elements and features intended to prevent the tyranny of simple majority rule.
3. Already only a minority of people participate — usually just over 50% of eligible voters (which does not include all citizens) during presidential elections, and around 1/3 of eligible voters in off years.
4. It is ok not to vote, and it has nothing to do with the difficulty with which the right was won. Many of the rights and liberties we now enjoy have historically been hard-won at some point or another; that doesn’t mean we should use them in terrible ways. If anything, it means we should exercise our right to vote more wisely and thoughtfully — which may sometimes mean choosing not to vote. I 100% support universal suffrage; what I don’t support is universal obligation to cast a vote in a corrupt system which offers no real choice. Because, you see…
5. …not voting is, ultimately, also casting a vote. It’s a vote which says, “These options suck, and I’m not going to give you my support until you can come up with an option which deserves it.” Some countries (and even places in the U.S.) have a “None of the Above” option on the ballot. We don’t get that choice when voting for president. If we did, I’d go to the ballot box and check it off. Absent that opportunity, not voting is as close as I can get. Indeed, “Since we aren’t being offered any really meaningful choice, let’s not lend credence to the pretense that we are.”
6. I’m not advocating not voting because, man, this couch is comfortable and my polling place is too far away. There’s a difference between informed, deliberate non-participation and plain laziness. It’s important not to confuse the two.
7. Of course, my jury rigged “none of the above” vote is not ideal. That’s why I write about and work in politics, attempting to help produce a political culture in which there are votes I can cast in good conscience.
Unfortunately, in the meantime (when it comes to this presidential election, at least):