It seems strange to me that I have to defend voting against people who argue with a straight face that you shouldn’t — either because “your vote doesn’t matter” or “no one represents me”.
Trust me — your vote matters. That’s why they spend so much money trying to get it. That’s why Republicans try so hard to keep Democrats from voting.
And there are good candidates out there. Quite often they don’t make it past the primaries because people don’t vote. People don’t pay attention. They don’t get involved; they don’t read about the elections, and then when the election rolls around, they say “Hey, no one represents me” — which might not have happened had they done something about it.
I am involved in my local party. I go to meetings, I encourage candidates to run, and I’ve even run for a minor office myself (and won). I read about politics, I write about politics, and I contribute to politicians I like. And I vote. And because of this, I have a say in who these candidates are. I can affect the results.
Complaining that no one represents you in an election when you are doing absolutely nothing to change that seems like whining to me. And you know you’re going to end up with one of them, so at least vote for the lesser of the two. Surely one represents your views better than the other one.
Democracy means we are the government. We, the people. We have a say in what our government does. The candidates answer to us, not the other way around. They represent us. They are not the government, we are.
If you don’t participate, then they ignore you. And then you get what you deserve.
The people who do vote (which are pretty much always Republicans) win elections, and then the stupid Democrats think “Guess we should be more like Republicans” and move to the right. Whereas if we voted in the same number as Republicans, we would win many of the elections and no one would be saying that. But because we stay at home, our candidates lose. So what do their campaign managers say then? “We need to appeal to those people who do vote, not those who sit at home and complain without doing anything.”
It’s not going to change from the top. It has to change from us at the bottom. And complaining without action changes nothing.
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I remember my mother telling me something similar, when Regan was running for his second term. I asked my mother to explain the election process to me. She did this in a very simple way (I think I was five, or about to be), and I got the idea that there were more Democrats than Republicans. I asked how Reagan could be president, if there were more Democrats. My mother said that it was because some people don’t vote. I was horrified at the very idea. I never miss a chance to vote, even though I know I’m outnumbered by Republicans, here in the Midwest.
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