Please Do Not Vote

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I keep hearing people wanting others to go out and vote, with the implication (sometimes explicit) that it doesn't matter who you vote for, as long as you vote.


You should only vote if you know what you are voting for, and have an opinion about one side over the other. Otherwise, you are not contributing to society, you are harming it. Natalie Portman was on The Daily Show last night bemoaning the fact that so few young single women vote. Good! I am glad they don't vote, because they are ignorant and apathetic, and therefore are incapable of rendering a reasonable vote. The reason they don't vote is because they don't have a clue, and are therefore disinterested, which is how it should work.

Portman talked about how voting should be "sexier." I don't have any clue what she is talking about, and yet I feel strongly compelled to disagree. OK, not quite true, but it was fun to write that. What's she's saying is that she wants voting to be cool so people will want to do it even if they don't know what they are doing, and that is irresponsible. Voting should be harder. It should be LESS cool. You should have to register by carrier pigeon and vote by going to a Lion's Club. It should be done only by those people who take it seriously enough that they will seek it out and not be bothered by how "unsexy" it is.

The problem is not that people don't vote, it is that people don't care. I am all for getting people to care, getting them to learn. If they do that, they will want to vote, and you won't have to try to coerce them. And if they don't, then their vote is cast in ignorance and hurts, not helps. the process.

Of course, if you are a Democrat in an urban area, you'd probably prefer it if the ignorant people voted, because they would most likely vote for your guy. Same thing with a Republican in a rural area. But that doesn't make it respectable or useful to the democracy.

So while I realize that probably no one reading this journal is apathetic or ignorant, I will make the plea regardless: if you do not know or do not care, then stay home. Don't vote. You don't know what you're doing and no one cares what you think, unless it is to use you to get what they want.

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<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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This page contains a single entry by pudge published on August 6, 2004 10:12 AM.

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