Tomorrow. Vote.

electionTomorrow will bring an end to a long midterm election campaign season, none to early to suit me.  Our phone has been ringing regularly with robo calls and soundbite messages of what will happen if I don’t vote for so-and-so.   This year, I have gotten an average of 5 texts a day offering the same thing.  At one point I decided that I would not vote for any candidate who texted me but by now I realize that would mean not voting.  So,  I will sit down today with the voter handbook and review the candidates resumes and the ballot initiative summaries and decide.   Initiatives are particularly difficult because the TV ads incorporate more scare tactics than information.  Of course, so do the  ads for political candidates.  This year the message mostly seems to involve President Trump.   As he himself would say, Sad.  Sad that our elections, a centerpiece of democracy, become a personality contest about one personality.

According to NPR, only about 6 in 10 eligible voters cast ballots in 2016 and for every 10 adults eligible to vote, only about four cast a ballot in the 2010 and 2014 midterm elections.  According to the article, frequent voters are likely to be white, wealthy and older.  Non-voters frequently say they don’t feel their vote matters, they don’t care, they’re busy, or they don’t feel like they know enough to vote.  But in some cases, they’re also particularly eager to choose individual candidates instead of a party label. In 2016, many said they felt uninspired by both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, so they didn’t vote.   A low turnout of African American voters contributed to Donald Trump’s surprise (to some) victory over Hillary Clinton.   Politicians are likely to be responsive mostly to those who have supported them, both through contributions and votes.   What issues do your think a savvy politician would focus on given the demographics of voter turnout?  Suppose voter turnout in a few keys states had put Hillary in office?  Wouldn’t there have been more focus on traditional Democratic issues like welfare, civil rights and a higher minimum wage?

wpid-i-voted_sticker.gifAs one of those white, old, financially successful guys, I will certainly vote tomorrow.   If you wonder how I lean, I have always preferred that the government be divided … whichever party does not hold the presidency should hold at least one house of Congress.   Like my younger brethren who don’t vote, I don’t have enough faith in either party to give one a carte blanche.  Over the years I’ve sometimes had to hold my nose to vote for one flawed candidate over another but I realize that someone will win and that person will drive the priorities of our country, whether I vote or not.   Not voting then whining about how your vote doesn’t matter, the government doesn’t care about me, or what they do doesn’t affect me strikes me as pathetically passive aggressive.   Truth is, above and beyond Red Waves and Blue Waves, I’d just like to see our citizenry represented in election turnout.   Us old guys shouldn’t be calling all the shots.

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4 Comments on “Tomorrow. Vote.”

  1. Chas Says:

    I’ve voted in every election since 1964 I’m not affiliated with any party, I’m tired of the mud slinging by these candidates just tell me what you want to accomplish if you are elected and I will decide who I will vote for if you are elected and you don’t do what you say you will do you won’t get my vote the second time around.

    • f4j7 Says:

      you are on the right or left side of the political spectrum, whether you want to say Dem or Repub doesn’t matter, but you are closer to one than the other. If you’re for raising the minimum wage, you’re Dem, if you’re against all types of abortion regardless of reasons, you’re Repub, etc.


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