(Likely) Non-voting American dumbshits

I was having a relatively stable blood pressure weekend until I read this from New York Magazine, in which they interview young Americans who don’t plan to vote.

All I can say is, maybe this is the end. Maybe the Enlightenment experiment of the 18th Century has run its course, lived its lifespan, and set to die in the 21st.

Here’s a gem:


And then there’s this thought salad:

And this, folks, is a corker:



I dunno, asahi, it may be a relief that *some *of *those *people are not voting. They’d probably provoke a recount and elect Kanye West by mistake.

You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it study political science.

that quote reminds me of the episode of max headroom where each tv network ran a presidential candidate and you voted via ratings …………

Those few dumbshits are nothing compared to the half a nation of dumbshits who voted Republican in 2016. EVERY SINGLE INDIVIDUAL of them is a dumbshit of the worst kind and doesn’t deserve to vote again in their life.

Racist white trash voting for Trump are participating in your democracy (you may not like who they vote for). People who don’t vote just don’t give a shit about you, their country, their future, the environment they leave behind, kids in cages, bombs on Jemen, whatever. They are the worst kind of selfish, lazy, idiots. Way worse than the people who vote for the “wrong” candidate.

The problem is not the 30% of people who voted for Trump. It is the 70% who let them decide who represents all of you.

^^This, a hundred times this.

You may think your vote doesn’t matter. It does, it really does. Exercise your democratic right to vote people…otherwise, beware of the nasty consequences, and you will be held to blame.

In the words of Father Pedro Victory, SJ, as a PSA in Orgo class:

“life is choice. Every day we choose what to wear (some more than others ;)), what to have for breakfast, whether to come to class or not. You have the choice to vote next Sunday or to not vote, but if you do not, then you’re making the choice to leave your life in other people’s hands. Do you want to do that?”

I just spoke with an American yesterday who said, “Voting is a useless exercise. The Illuminati, the Rothschilds, run everything”. Yeah, Cecil Adams; it really is taking longer than we thought.

I think what sticks out in my mind is that we have a lot of people who just don’t understand how a democratic system is intended to work. Our society is essentially teeming with millions who don’t value democracy, and they don’t see it as their civic duty to participate in a democratic political system.

When you couple this reality with the fact that the institutions that consistently receive the highest praise in our society are the military and the police, whereas the institutions that receive the lowest levels of trust are the free press and those elected to public office, it’s clear that the Trump era isn’t an anomaly. It’s most likely the beginning of something very bad.

My pessimism isn’t rooted in the fact that a misfit somehow pulled off the unthinkable one time. Even healthy democracies have hiccups. But the election of Trump wasn’t a hiccup. It’s a symptom. It reflected the fact that our faith in democracy is so low that it’s almost certainly likely to produce more unpredictable, and at times, outrageous results in the future. It’s also likely that regimes that show contempt for democracy and the rule of law won’t necessarily be punished by voters at the polls because too many voters themselves simply don’t identify with democracy and they don’t identify with the institutions and rules that support it.

I told an American acquaintance about how wonderful our UK Universal Health Care (NHS) was.

Her response: “That is socialism, so it’s very wrong. I shall vote for Trump.” :smack:

Except in extremely limited, tight races, it’s demonstrably true that the vote of a single individual is meaningless.

Which is why it is important that as many people as possible do it, and ideally on an informed and considered basis. No single snowflake or pebble is an avalanche.

I was listening to my mother-in-law ranting about politicians and corruption once, and I asked her who she favored in the election. Her answer was that she had never voted in her life (she was in her 60s) I thought she should just stfu, if you can’t be bothered to vote, you don’t get to complain.

Moreover, it’s because of her failure and the failure of others to participate that makes corruption worse. The participation of informed voters ensures some degree of accountability. Yes, there will always be corruption. Yes, people will try to lie and fool the public into voting against their interests, but that’s why we use things like Google and Politifact, and that’s why we try to keep up with news.

That’s why I get so angry whenever I hear crap like “Well they have to inspire me to vote. It’s my right to vote, and I will decide if I’m inspired enough to vote or not. They have to earn my participation.” :smack:

This is a challenge of liberal democracy in general, both established and emergent – how to keep people’s support when part of the nature of the system is that often *you *lose, or even if you win then it fails to deliver the thing you advocated that “Everyone Sane MUST Agree Is What We Should Want”.

Also as you see there, a lot of people want low-effort maintenance-free constitutional rule, whereby their rights and protections “just happen” and their interaction with political society functions essentially on autopilot.

So you have people like some in the article who say “oh, I can do more good working for an NGO”… without commenting on what happens if the NGO gets de-funded and its NPO status revoked, or if their clientele become targets of outright persecution, because it just does not cross their minds, they are too used to things just chugging along.

The OP presents the subject as if it is some sort of new phenomenon. It isn’t. The U.S. has long lagged behind most other developed countries in voter participation, and with some election to election variation it’s stayed within a not too wide range.

The sadder item has been that the Millennials and those who have followed have been less likely to vote than previous generations were at those ages. Cynicism has a price. There are some indications that this midterm will see a reversal of that trend.

Hey it is never hard to swing a stick and hit a dumbass (and be happy if the dumb ass you hit is not your own!) but this specific election is looking to be one in which more see the importance of participation than before. Maybe it won’t happen but it is looking like it anyway.

I, for one, welcome our non-voting dumbshits. It’s the voting dumbshits I worry about.

As I glibly observed once, even dumshits deserve representation.

Ah, the Roman Hruska argument: