So Election Day is finally here, and no doubt you all are being bombarded with exhortations to VOTE, no matter who or what it’s for, because the important thing is that you participate in the democratic process, which is your privilege and responsibility and if you shirk it, well, you have no one to blame but yourself for how things turn out. If you are one of those people who tend not to vote because you’re too busy or you aren’t enthusiastic about any of the candidates or whatever, I hereby give you permission to stay home and not vote. Ignore what everyone else tells you and believe your Gentle Giraffe: Elections are for people who care, and if you don’t care enough to vote, just don’t do it. It’s easy. All you have to do is nothing!
The truth is that I’m not like those goody-two-shoes who tell you they don’t care who you vote for as long as you vote, as long as you’ve studied the issues and vote your convictions. I do care who you vote for, and chances are, if you have convictions, you don’t need me to tell you to vote them. If you don’t have convictions, please don’t screw up the outcome for those of us who do. If you don’t like any of the candidates, don’t vote for any of them. Don’t write in your third-grade math teacher or your favorite talk-show host. Don’t vote for some third-party loony tune you’ve never heard of because at least he’s not one of the jerks you already know you don’t want. You’re just wasting everyone else’s time. If you really don’t care who wins, don’t vote.
You are allowed to turn in a partial ballot, on which you’ve only voted for the candidates and issues you care about. Technically, you are allowed to turn in an empty ballot, if you want to make some kind of “statement” about the system being corrupt or whatever, but I recommend against that because it’s lame and it slows down the vote counting and some of us are actually interested to see how things turn out and don’t want to stay up late just because you decided to be clever and righteous. You can do that on your own time. Meanwhile, the rest of us are doing representative-republic stuff. We’d like to concentrate. Thank you.
The most common reason I hear for people not voting is that they don’t like any of their options. They don’t like choosing the lesser of two evils. Sometimes they say, “Choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil.” Once upon a time I might have said, “That’s dumb. Do you mean to tell me that if you have a choice between something that will hurt and something that will hurt even more, you don’t have a preference? Really?” But now I say, “Look, Jethro, if you don’t see the difference between a kick in the head and a kick in the groin, that’s your business, but don’t you dare eeny-miney-moe this thing for the rest of us. Some of us care where we get kicked and want to influence the decision of the kicker. Just keep your apathetic nose out of it.”
So, seriously, if you are disinclined to vote, don’t let anyone guilt you into doing it just because it’s your “civic duty.” In the grand scheme of things, your vote only matters insofar as it cancels out mine. Your vote could work for me, or it could work against me. I have no way of knowing, but frankly, I’m not inclined to take a chance on you. I like to pretend that my fate is sometimes influenced by something besides random chance. So stay away from that ballot box! And don’t feel guilty, either. I won’t blame you when things go wrong, and I won’t even tell you that you have no right to complain. We’re Americans, dammit. We always have the right to complain, especially about stuff that’s our own fault. That’s what makes this country great.
Now go forth and do what you will. Or not. This isn’t Soviet Russia. (Yet!) Happy Tuesday, and may all my favored candidates and issues win!
Madhousewife was offered the position of Get Out The Vote Czar for the the Obama administration, but she turned it down. She really doesn’t give a crap if you vote.