Believe me, I get it… you’re fed up with the democratic process.
That passion you once had for taking to the streets and fighting for what you feel is right has all but evaporated. You’re cynical, jaded and you trust no one—not even those bright, shiny candidates you once lionized. In fact, you’ve just used the t-shirt from the last local election to dust your coffee table, because those vacuous charlatans never came through in the end… and nothing puts a shine on that pine like a cotton/poly blend.
You were passionate once, but now you’re just done with all that nonsense—because nothing fosters apathy more than actually getting involved.
That’s cool… now go vote.
Because that apathy is what feeds the political machines. They intentionally suck the marrow out of the democratic process, making it so mind-numbingly inane that any marginally educated person will likely see the folly of pinning any hopes on its effectiveness.
They make political participation so painstaking that vast swathes of the American electorate take themselves out of the process. Then, like the Grinch on Christmas morning, they make their play via a combination of voting blocs and underhanded tactics and they capture power—in the process validating the political strategies of exclusion.
The last election held in Hudson County, New Jersey (where I live) saw voter turnout of less than 30%.
Let me say that again for emphasis… Hudson County, New Jersey—one of the most historically corrupt counties in the United States—has 70+% of registered voters taking themselves out of the conversation.
While diminutive cabals carve off their pieces of a pretty rich pie, most of my taxpaying neighbors simply shrug their shoulders and say, “eh… whaddaya gonna do?”
Well, you can at least try to do something. Whether you’re genuinely skeptical or simply lazy, you’re still part of the problem if you do nothing.
You don’t need to engage in petty arguments on social media. You don’t need to put t-shirts on your children and drag them to every public event like some unwitting placard. You don’t need to camp out at campaign headquarters so you can be on hand to sing “Don’t Stop (Thinking About Tomorrow)” when the results roll in. You don’t need to be part of the ceaseless cacophony to feel like you’re making a difference. You just need to go press a few buttons and make your voice heard.
So vote. Take a few minutes, educate yourself on the issues, study the ballot carefully and vote. It’s not that hard—hell, most people put more effort into studying a Chinese take-out menu.
Just don’t ask me who to vote for—I don’t know what matters most to you. You’re an adult, you figure it out, and you let the powers that be know where you stand.
Rise above it all, and hopefully this whole process will rise with you. It’s not what you give to the campaign that should shape policy, it’s what you give at the booth. The best way the American electorate can cultivate better candidates is by offering our vote to those who best represent our interests.
All that campaign money, all those ads, all the debate, all the anger, all the noise—none of it matters. What matters is what you do for those 30 seconds you spend in the voting booth.
Stop rewarding ineptitude with inaction.