Not Voting Doubles the Value of Someone Else's Vote

October 8th, 2018 • filed under Journal

David Foster Wallace wrote a great piece for The Rolling Stone back in 2000 that’s still absolutely true, today (emphasis mine):

If you are bored and disgusted by politics and don’t bother to vote, you are in effect voting for the entrenched Establishments of the two major parties, who please rest assured are not dumb, and who are keenly aware that it is in their interests to keep you disgusted and bored and cynical and to give you every possible psychological reason to stay at home doing one-hitters and watching MTV on primary day. By all means stay home if you want, but don’t bullshit yourself that you’re not voting. In reality, there is no such thing as not voting: you either vote by voting, or you vote by staying home and tacitly doubling the value of some Diehard’s vote.

This is absolutely true. By not voting, you’re giving 2x the power to the other side and that’s exactly what they want. This concept plays out every day on both sides of the fence and our constantly low voter turnouts are proof that it’s working. It’s painfully obvious to those who bother to pay attention (read: not those who don’t give a shit and never vote) that high voter turnout would have swayed elections in vastly different directions over the years.

Please, register to vote. Then, actually vote. If you’re in Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, or Texas, the deadline is tomorrow. Make sure you’re in good status and start doing something with your power as a voter.

(h/t @nitch via Kottke.org)