Monday, October 13, 2014

Want Attention? Vote!

If you can't come up with any other reason to vote on November 4th - and if you are a minority or a woman whose right to vote was paid for by the literal blood and tears and deaths of those who fought to get it for you, so shame on you if you don't - then how about this:

Every time someone who is not white, male, straight, xian, conservative, repug and rich votes, somewhere a repug head explodes.

David Atkins at Hullabaloo:
It's that day again. If you're obsessive enough about politics to be reading this, you should probably already be registered to vote by mail (assuming you live in a state that allows it.) But if you're registered to vote at the polls, be sure to get out there and vote today.

If you believe that there really is value in seeing Democrats defeat Republicans--as I suspect most of you do--then it's very important that you vote. It's not just that your vote helps win elections today. When you vote, the Democratic Party knows that you're that much more reliable a voter. We don't have to spend as much money making sure you show up, and you won't get harassed as often. From a progressive warrior point of view, it also means that when there are intra-party primaries to pick the more progressive Democrat, the campaigns will fight harder over your vote because they know you're going to show up.

For the rest of you, this is why the people who say they're going to "punish" politicians by not voting are just deluded. You're not punishing anyone. You just fall off our radar. We stop caring about you at all.


So guess what? When a bunch of Democrats who voted in 2008 decided to just not show up at the polls in 2010 because they weren't inspired or whatever, the Democratic Party didn't say to itself "oh, we should be more progressive and inspirational!" The Party said, "well, those people can't be counted on. Let's worry about the more conservative senior voters who are on the fence."

If you want to make the Democratic Party care more about progressives and progressive issues, withholding your vote isn't how to do it. That only weakens your hand.

The biggest way to make an impact is to be both loud and reliable. Particularly when it comes to voting in Democratic primaries. Make sure the party knows you vote, that you'll vote for Democrats generally, but that any individual politician may or may not get your vote--and that you'll vote against them in a primary if it comes to that.

Those are the people who scare politicians. Not the non-voters.

So get out there and vote. Because you know what we call the sort of person who votes in a June off-year midterm primary? Someone we have to pay attention to.
Yep.  This is why I take every opportunity to tell my local Democratic Party pooh-bahs that you bet your ass I'm voting for Alison Lundergan Grimes, BUT that I'm going to have to borrow a Level-5 Hazmat suit to do it, and they better not ever forget it.

So let's be clear. People despise Congress and its inability to solve problems. But they absolutely hate Republicans. Democrats aren't exactly sweethearts, but a majority do have a favorable impression of the party.

If everyone voted, Republicans would be bounced out of influence. But people don't vote.

The problem isn't convincing more people. The problem isn't Fox News or the right-wing media machine or anything like that. Most people aren't fooled.

The problem is getting the people who do see the world the right way to vote. In the parlance of campaign operatives, it's a turnout problem, not a persuasion problem.
So yes, because liberals stay home and don't vote, the electorate is conservative.  Democrats run as conservatives to get their votes, because conservatives are the ones voting.  We're not.

If liberals don't give a damn about voting in midterms,why should Democrats give a damn about liberals who don't vote?
Last word to Zandar, who nails it:  
Abdication of voting is cowardice, plain and simple.  If you make the political decision to stay home and not vote in order to punish politicians, you are a coward, and you deserve no voice at all in our political process.

Too many people have fought and died for women, African-Americans, Hispanic and Latino, Asian, and other minorities to be able to vote.  Walking away from that is not only irrational, despite what Gary Segura says, but suicidal.  If you feel that you are voiceless, why make yourself voiceless by not voting?

I can respect voting for the other candidate in order to punish the one you're angry with.  That's at least still exercising the right people bled for.  But to stay home and do nothing?  Insanity.  You only assure that you will not be taken seriously in the future and that your concerns will be ignored.

Why should politicians care about those who do not vote at all? 

No comments: