US Election Day is tomorrow. It’s supposedly a tight race, and a lot of us will be glad when it is over if only so we can stop hearing about how close it is.
Of course, every election cycle, there are those who don’t vote. They don’t vote because of a number of reasons, some silly, and some well-reasoned.
But Seth Godin insists that by not voting, you lose any say at all about what you want to see more or less of. In Why vote? The marketing dynamics of apathy, he argues that by opting out of the process, no one has an incentive to make their approaches more pleasing to you.
The goal of political marketers isn’t to get you to vote. Their goal is to get more votes than the other guy. So they obsess about pleasing those that vote. Everyone else is invisible.
Steakhouses do nothing to please vegetarians who don’t visit them, and politicians and their handlers don’t care at all about non-voters.
In 2004, there was a lot of talk about “values-based” voting. Suddenly everyone was bending over backwards to let you know that they were all about values.
In 2008, it was change and hope. Suddenly, every candidate was trying to insist that they were the real “change” candidate.
Today, we have a President who insists on moving “forward”, no matter how slow the pace seems to be, versus a candidate who hasn’t explained how his so-called plan is any more than a list of goals (“A goal without an action plan is a daydream” –Nathaniel Branden). They both insist that they are there for the middle class. And they’ve both been courting voters hard.
If you didn’t vote in previous elections because you don’t find the options appealing, is it any wonder that today’s candidates aren’t appealing to your interests? And why don’t politicians ever express concern for the lower classes? Probably because they are less likely to vote.
A friend has a quote from Plato as a signature in his email:
“Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.”
I consider myself to be a smart person, and I’m voting tomorrow, if only to help tip the numbers back. B-)