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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2008
    Location
    Western NY
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    5,882

    Angry Vote, dammit! Or: A Rant.

    My 24-year-old little brother refuses to vote. We're in NY, so he feels that voting is pointless as it's going to go Democratic no matter what. He doesn't care about sending a message by voting third party. He doesn't care about local or statewide elections. He doesn't believe local elections matter because "nothing can change as long as nothing changes on the national level," and he's just going to sit back and wait for the revolution, blah blah blah. I finally guilt-tripped him to go vote on behalf of our dad, who passed away in July, and who would never miss an election. But he's angry and complaining about it.

    I have never been so freaking angry at him (including when he dropped out of high school, and then out of college). I don't care if he votes a write-in for Cthulu ("Why choose the lesser evil?"), but I hate the apathy. I saw this constantly among my high school seniors last year--the "eh, why bother, it won't work anyway" attitude, and nothing would make me go ballistic faster than hearing one of them sarcastically say "Care..." in response to anything. (They had to do ten push-ups every time I heard that.)

    I am a diehard liberal, but I have infinitely more respect for the most crazy-eyed Michelle Bachmann type than I do for people who don't get themselves off their asses one freaking time per year (heck, even once every four years) to go pull the lever/push the button/fill in the circles, because at least they believe in making a difference, even if I may disagree with them on how that can happen. One time every four years to indicate that you care in the slightest bit about anything. If your state is predetermined, pick a value you care about and vote for it. You like guns? Go vote for the candidate who's most for the second amendment. You pro-choice or pro-life? You for or against gay marriage? You socialist or libertarian or War of Northern Aggression-ist? Indicate that you care about something BY VOTING. Our country was founded after bloody conflict over the ability to have some say in government. People have fought and been jailed and died for the right to vote in America, people are unable to vote in America who would like to, and people in other countries still fight for the right to have a say in their governments. So don't cop out and say your vote doesn't matter so you're not going to exercise that right, because eventually whatever rights you're too apathetic to exercise are going to shrivel up and disappear.

    ...Thanksgiving dinner is going to be interesting this year.


    15 members found this post helpful.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr. 15, 2008
    Posts
    2,943

    Default

    well, but now whenever he opens his mouth to complain about the government or the economy or foreign affairs or, anything, really, you can cut him off dead by saying "if you don't vote you can't complain. i don't wanna hear it."


    7 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2008
    Posts
    7,398

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    I would let it go. There is some logic to what he says, NY is going Democratic and it is not worth family strife. I also don't believe that you can't complain if you don't vote. Abstaining for reasons that there is no one you would like to support -- or that you oppose them all -- is, in fact, a political position as well and can be a valid one.

    I voted but still abstain from the local elections I didn't educate myself about. I try to become educated beforehand but things like "County Coroner" leave me scratching my head sometimes. I don't know the first thing about what a CC does or which option would do it better, so I leave that one to everyone else who hopefully has more of a clue.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 5, 2007
    Location
    Beside Myself ~ Western NY
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    6,999

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SarahandSam View Post
    We're in NY, so he feels that voting is pointless as it's going to go Democratic no matter what.
    This same thought was running through my mind this morning but I went and did it anyway. I'm not OK with the feeling that I sat back and just let it happen without dropping my 2 cents.
    The more perfect our happiness,
    the more nagging and wretched
    do our unsolved problems seem.
    ~ Gordon Grand



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2005
    Location
    between the mountains and the sea, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,936

    Default

    If you have the ability to vote, and you don't bother, you lose the right to complain.

    I'd just keep repeating that every time he tries to argue with you about it.

    FWIW, I agree - apathetic is far worse than being die hard anything, even if you don't agree with my viewpoints.
    "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
    "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey


    4 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2012
    Location
    Fern Creek, KY
    Posts
    3,010

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    My husband is military, as well as my father and grandfather and great-grandfather. If I didn't vote I think that I'd be shunned.

    VT is a democratic state, but I still went out and filled in my Romney bubble. Why? Because it's my RIGHT. It probably won't sway the state, but at least I can say I went out and did it. I agree with you, Sarahandsam. It leaves me irate as well. My best friend was too lazy, and it drives me NUTS!
    Quote Originally Posted by MistyBlue View Post
    I prefer them outside playing as opposed to standing in the barn aisle playing "I can crap more than you"
    New Year, New Blog... follow Willow and I here.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb. 27, 2011
    Posts
    96

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    I was thinking about not voting this year. Obama signed a bill making horse slaughterhouses legal and I can't vote for him. I decided to go when I looked at the ads for the chief justice for the state supreme court and decided I had to do it. The crank who will probably be elected was a national embarrassment for the state a few years ago. So I got there and saw all these names for president I hadn't heard of and decided to vote for two women. I've never voted for a woman for president. I hoped I wasn't voting for communists and about to be wiretapped by the FBI, but I filled in the line anyway. I looked them up when I got home and I voted for the green party. It sounds very nice, like voting for Kermit.

    But I digress. Yes, your brother should vote. How many people have died in how many wars to help preserve our right to vote? He needs to get off his revolutionary a** and go pull a lever. I would let it go by Thanksgiving though and focus on food.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2008
    Location
    Western NY
    Posts
    5,882

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    Quote Originally Posted by SmartAlex View Post
    This same thought was running through my mind this morning but I went and did it anyway. I'm not OK with the feeling that I sat back and just let it happen without dropping my 2 cents.
    I can understand the feeling that it's pointless when you live in a predetermined state... but besides the local elections, I think you can also use the national vote then to at least send a message by voting third party, if you're not crazy about either of the two main parties. I vote Working Families, because it's the same candidates generally as Democrat, so I could cast a vote for Obama while still emphasizing that I value the platform that the WF party is built on. I register as Democrat so I can vote in primaries, but in general elections, that's my usual strategy. I've done the same with Green or Liberal candidates (or sometimes independent), and can understand people doing the same on the Republican side with Libertarian and so on, because at least it indicates to the main party that there are people who care about those issues and they should focus on them. In some ways there's an advantage to being in a non-swing state, because you have some freedom to express yourself that way... besides, if everyone takes for granted how their state is going to go, eventually an upset could happen! (:


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct. 21, 1999
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    12,424

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    You see, I think that your brother is wrong about the local races not being important. I believe that is where change has to start. You need to take the time to educate yourselves about your state and local candidates. And, by the way, some of those local races aren't nearly the sure thing that NY going Democratic for Obama are.

    People fought, died and went to jail for our right to vote. It's a sacred trust, and not something to be taken lightly. It's a responsibility and should be treated as such. So, yes, I hope you hit him with the "no right to complain because you didn't vote" any time he whines about the state of things.

    And, remember, next year are the very local elections, the town, village, city and county contests. They are every bit as important as the elections this time around.
    Originally Posted by Alagirl
    We just love to shame poor people...when in reality, we are all just peasants.


    6 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul. 20, 2010
    Location
    Texarkana, AR
    Posts
    1,661

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    I'm going to vote because I've voted in every presidential election since I was 18 and because there are some local elections I care about but I kind of understand your brother's thinking. There's been so much emphasis on the "swing" states, I can't help but feeling that the rest of the countyr doesn't matter.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr. 1, 2011
    Posts
    740

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    The idea that if you don't vote, you can't complain, is wrong and misguided. I am all for everyone voting, but voting is a RIGHT. That means you have the RIGHT to vote, or to NOT vote. You also have the RIGHT to free speech. I agree that people who sit back and complain and don't DO anything about it are really annoying, but they are exercising their constitutionally granted rights in both cases. I am thankful that we have both rights and people are free to choose to do what they want. And honestly, if someone isn't informed or doesn't care about the issues, I'd prefer they didn't vote on something when they have no idea what they're voting on. They still have the right to free speech.


    5 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May. 26, 2011
    Posts
    1,200

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    A vote is never pointless. Not voting is. When an election is run and you don't like the candidates then write in the name that you would think do a good job. Maybe it will encourage that person to actually run for the office.

    I have done a write in vote for the last three presidential elections because our choices have always been between lame and lamer.
    "I couldn't find my keys, so I put her in the trunk"


    1 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep. 4, 2006
    Location
    Somewhere in the Southwest
    Posts
    1,238

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by norton View Post
    I was thinking about not voting this year. Obama signed a bill making horse slaughterhouses legal and I can't vote for him. I decided to go when I looked at the ads for the chief justice for the state supreme court and decided I had to do it. The crank who will probably be elected was a national embarrassment for the state a few years ago. So I got there and saw all these names for president I hadn't heard of and decided to vote for two women. I've never voted for a woman for president. I hoped I wasn't voting for communists and about to be wiretapped by the FBI, but I filled in the line anyway. I looked them up when I got home and I voted for the green party. It sounds very nice, like voting for Kermit.

    But I digress. Yes, your brother should vote. How many people have died in how many wars to help preserve our right to vote? He needs to get off his revolutionary a** and go pull a lever. I would let it go by Thanksgiving though and focus on food.
    Hate to break it to you, but you voted for communists. I refer to enviro whackos as watermelons....green on the outside, commie red on the inside. Their whole agenda is about control, much like the democrat party, they want to control every aspect of your life.


    5 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2008
    Location
    Western NY
    Posts
    5,882

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frivian View Post
    The idea that if you don't vote, you can't complain, is wrong and misguided. I am all for everyone voting, but voting is a RIGHT. That means you have the RIGHT to vote, or to NOT vote. You also have the RIGHT to free speech. I agree that people who sit back and complain and don't DO anything about it are really annoying, but they are exercising their constitutionally granted rights in both cases. I am thankful that we have both rights and people are free to choose to do what they want. And honestly, if someone isn't informed or doesn't care about the issues, I'd prefer they didn't vote on something when they have no idea what they're voting on. They still have the right to free speech.
    I agree with that... however, I think of voting as both a right and a responsibility. If people were choosing not to vote because they don't like the system, but then going out and running themselves or getting involved in election reform or really just doing anything that indicates awareness, I would have greater tolerance for that. But the ones who are being apathetic aren't actually *saying* anything about the electoral system or the candidates or the parties, they're just saying that voting isn't important, and elected officials might as well just all ignore the voters and stick with the lobbyists and corporations. And enough of that apathy can eventually affect my right to vote, or the weight of my vote, so that bothers me.

    I don't want people voting randomly just because and without knowing anything about the candidates, but how hard is it to become at least somewhat informed? Especially on the local level, there are always issues that can and will affect you...

    (Although I do admit that I have never really figured out the politics behind county coroner, either.)



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    8,780

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    My rule is that if you don't vote, then you don't get to whine.

    And how do you know that your single vote doesn't count? There wouldn't be upsets if people always voted the way the pollsters predict, or just figure the other party will win. Not all elections go the way they are predicted.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White


    1 members found this post helpful.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul. 13, 2008
    Posts
    2,841

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    I vote with enthusiasm, but I always wonder why nobody ever criticizes the obvious problem when the topic of voter "apathy" comes up - the parties. Look at the two winners we have running for the White House right now. Look at the choices we were offered in 2008, 2004, 2000. Is it any wonder so many people prefer not to become involved?


    1 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2010
    Posts
    6,053

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    I have to say, I have not listened to ANYTHING on the election today and am keeping my fingers in my ears until tomorrow, but I am DAMN proud of the people around here. Our school staff lunchroom is a polling place as well as the fire station next door. It has been PACKED all day long. They have five people staffing it and they have been busy ALL day long.

    I'm so proud. There are LOTS of things to vote on besides president. Here we have some CRUCIAL school funding that we need or pretty much give up (we'll be up to a 15% pay cut) and people seem to CARE.

    I love it here. It's like the United Nations. As I ate lunch, I saw the whole spectrum of what makes up the US come in and vote. Cool!



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep. 6, 2005
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    1,087

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    Thank you for posting this. Some girl I went to high school with posted some dumb thing on facebook about how if you haven't followed the campaign you shouldn't vote. I of course got into a stupid argument with her about it

    Today is the day we put our political differences aside and celebrate our right to make our voice heard. Even if it's small, it's EQUAL.

    If you don't know, look it up, there is plenty of information out there, go do it!

    My dear husband voted for the first time today, and he drug his feet through the whole process, but he slapped that sticker on his shirt and looked pretty smug afterwards. That's my boy (After we picked up our marriage certificate from the vital records office we went right downstairs to the auditor's office to register him as a 'condition' of said marriage, lol. )


    1 members found this post helpful.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec. 22, 2011
    Posts
    22

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    This high school senior would have voted if she could have legally!



  20. #20
    Join Date
    May. 15, 2006
    Location
    Eastern WV Panhandle
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    1,246

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    Quote Originally Posted by vacation1 View Post
    Look at the two winners we have running for the White House right now. Look at the choices we were offered in 2008, 2004, 2000. Is it any wonder so many people prefer not to become involved?
    This is why you can purchase "Satan/Cthulu - Why Vote for the Lesser of Two Evils" bumper stickers.

    Still some folks had it much worse...
    http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphoto...56249409_n.jpg



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