This year I’m in the target demographic for get out the vote and voter registration drives. Lots of people want me to vote. At first glance, these ‘drives’ are visibly indistinguishable from blood ‘drives’ – friendly middle aged folks going soft around the edges staffing with clipboards and mountains of paper touting your ability to save a life (of our republic, or of someone you don’t know). The comparison is apt: blood drives and voter reg, next to ‘raising money for cancer’ is about the only totally uncontroversial political discourse left in America.
I however, would like to come out in support of so-called ‘voter apathy.’ I believe that the demonization of non-voting in our society is based on the totally false belief that our government can or should continue to operate without the contributions of the people governed. Piles of money gets pumped into the airwaves for the express purpose of devaluing the decision millions of voters make to avoid the polls. At the behest of this propaganda, a great deal of the voting class (and it is, by most measures, a class) refuses to take their Fellow Americans seriously come election day.
Not voting does not mean voter apathy. Voter apathy does not exist, apathy towards voting yes, but we are not ‘voters’ first. Not voting is an express recognition that the fools and liars running for office don’t serve your interests. Not voting means that you don’t believe that the election can solve your problems; it actively recognizes that our lives are defined by issues that Our President won’t help or change. If you don’t think the president can change your life for the better, you shouldn’t vote.