Reasonable member of the electorate, or idiotic, entitled college student?

So as best I can tell, the author of the article has two reasons he doesn’t vote

  1. His state (Texas) is traditionally Republican, and he feels that his vote doesn’t count.

  2. Being informed about who to vote for is work, and he doesn’t want to do it.

I’m not sure what to say- part of me feels pretty deeply that he’s missing something fundamental about the voting process above and beyond the obvious point that if all the people on his side act like he does, then they’re essentially guaranteeing that their side will never win, because they’ll all be staying home and being petulant.

I also have to question the utility of deciding whether you’ll vote on your expected outcome of a single election. Most elections are some combination of Federal, State, County, City and School Board candidates and issues. Even if I was pretty sure one candidate or another would win for the big elections (for example, I’d bet big money that Greg Abbott will crush Lupe Valdez in an absurd fashion next month), it’s STILL worth going and voting for your local congressmen, city council members, bond issues, propositions, state constitutional amendments, etc…

Am I missing something? Does this guy have a reasonable point of view?

Of course not.

I’d describe him as disillusioned, frustrated, untrusting, and fatalistic. I don’t agree with him at all, but I can understand where this comes from.

What I don’t see in his essay is anything about being entitled. Where do you get that? Is that just an assumption about anyone from that generation?

He didn’t want to give up his parking spot to go vote?

That has to be a joke.

It’s a shallow and uninteresting voting hot take. I found it unconvincing 8 years ago when I was in college and it remains so now.

I live in Idaho. I’m solidly convinced that my (liberal) vote isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.

I am way too lazy to bother looking into which corrupt person is which.

I’m sure some people would call me idiotic. Such people are idiots.
I’m sure some people would call me entitled. I’m curious about what I’m entitled to.
Nobody could reasonably call me a college student. I’m not attending college; I am in my forties.

I figure I might vote, if I don’t forget to. I’d do it only because I don’t want ignorant fools claiming that I’m somehow responsible for the evils of others if I don’t. Should I get around to voting I will feel extremely stupid the entire time I’m doing it, for wasting my time that way due to something as pathetic as peer pressure.

His vote (or lack thereof), and those of people like him, may well determine which party controls the Senate as of January. In 2018, his vote probably counts for a lot more than most of the country’s.

Yes, it seems pretty clear from the article that it was a joke. He describes the parking-spot line as his standard conversational rejoinder whenever somebody asked him whom he voted for. Not as the actual reason he chose not to vote.

The actual reasons he chose not to vote seem to have been the following:

Being informed about whom to vote AGAINST*, otoh, is a piece of cake.
*The Republican, for those of you playing along at home.

Which is the only reason I’m even considering bothering. Back in my formative years, hard as it is to believe now, there really didn’t seem to be all that big a difference between the parties, to me anyway. Neither was insane, they were all just people, all of them indistinguishable from one another in any real sense. Everyone I knew who voted voted strictly on party lines for reasons of, as best I could tell, habit. I didn’t have such habits, and thus saw little reason to choose one over the other.

Then I grew up a little and realized that all the candidates were corrupt. This wasn’t heartening, but did nothing to sway me in one direction or the other.

Only in the last decade or so has it become clear to me that one party is not only corrupt, but actively evil. And if my vote wasn’t completely worthless I would totally vote on ideological grounds, for the (merely) corrupt guy.

Of course my vote is worthless, because I happen to reside somewhere that’s red as blood. Sigh…

Standard conversational rejoinder?

Where in the linked piece did he say that?

All I’m seeing here is someone who is insulated from consequences.

There are some people for whom the ruling party might have life-or-death consequences. Syrian refugees, homosexuals, women in crisis, the poor, the elderly, and the infirm all come to mind. I know a man who depends on Chinese imports for their business and depends on the ACA for their heart medication. If Trump destroys the ACA (as he promised) and imposes tariffs (as he is doing) this man could lose his business and maybe even his life. I thought Trump wanted to improve American business and improve our health care, and yet his policies are doing the exact opposite.

I never cease to be amazed by Republicans who vote for Trump and then act surprised when their family members get deported. Or people who claim they love the ACA and depend upon it, but simultaneously despise Obamacare. It doesn’t make a damn bit of sense.

The author of this piece - and other non-voters - are living in some kind of privileged bubble where they either don’t or won’t comprehend the consequences of their decision. As long as they are wealthy, American, and in college it probably won’t make any difference who is in charge. But when they are poor, sick, and employed, they will probably have a very different understanding.

In other words, whenever somebody asked him that question, that was his reply. That’s what I’d call a “standard conversational rejoinder” to that particular question. Is there something about that designation that you didn’t understand or don’t agree with?

Because it’s pretty clear from the rest of the article that his actual reasons for not voting were more serious and substantive. The parking-spot line was just, as you correctly diagnosed, a joke.

That or they feel powerless to impact the result even if it *does *matter. A vote that means nothing and has no impact isn’t worth casting.

Or both. It’s possible to be both powerless and protected. (A status which I suppose I enjoy, give or take being as vulnerable to healthcare problems and economic collapse as everyone else.) I expect if I were one of those folk directly oppressed by the monsters in power I’d be extremely enthusiastic about casting my token vote into the abyss due to it being a statement. (That nobody will hear. Unless you twitter it I suppose.)

For several years I have had university students take the quiz at (No, it’s not perfect. Find me a better one and I’ll use it) They consistently and almost unanimously find themselves to be much further left and much less authoritarian than the major Canadian political parties, including the NDP. These are first year students (so no brainwashing by “radical” profs) at a non-elite university. They are struck by the fact that no political party comes close to representing their ideas and ideals. For many, not voting is an expression of that fact, and means they are not morally culpable when the government does something loathsome. There are some problems with this logic, but it is much sounder than labeling them apathetic might be.

The categorical imperative dictates a vote, but economic logic does not.

If the value to you of having your man or woman be President is $500,000 but the inconvenience of actually driving to the poll station and waiting in line is $10 then you have an expectation of economic loss for the bother. Even if you live in a swing state, the chance your vote will be the decisive one is less than 0.002%. True you also get a chance to vote for school board where your vote is more likely to be decisive. But you may not have even researched the candidates for school board, let alone feel a $500,000 value.

This is an argument for mandatory voting.

No where in his essay does he argue that it doesn’t matter who wins. He expresses his belief that it doesn’t matter who he votes for because his vote doesn’t make a difference in a red state. Those are not the same at all.

If everyone who didn’t bother to vote actually voted, election results could be very different. Your vote always counts. You may not achieve the result you want but you have participated and maybe you’re building something for next time.

I agree with your first sentence because you used the word “could”, which accepts the fact that there’s definitely the possibility that your vote, in fact, doesn’t matter.

In the rest of it the only true statement is “[if you vote] you have participated”.

:confused: How are you falsifying the “maybe you’re building something for next time” part? “Maybe” makes the statement as it stands pretty much unfalsifiable.