This weekend, I wrote two things for Care2 that I want to share:
I think I watched more Sesame Street preparing this article than I did as a child. It is sort of alarming how many people took such a tongue-in-cheek piece so seriously. Like, duh, I realize there are plenty of flaws in my argument that if Big Bird didn't know he liked the taste of apples until he tried it, then maybe Romney would be in favor of legalizing marijuana if he tried it; I just thought it would be funny to say it. What I did take seriously was:
It's a controversial idea, and perhaps even a dangerous one, but I think it needed to be shared. I take voting so seriously, and yet I hate our system, and it wasn't until super recently I ever had my mind blown and wondered: why am I still participating, then? For the record, I still intend to vote. But I will no longer fault people who have principled reasons for not doing so.
The commenters have crucified me, and I expected that. I never expected the opinion I shared - which wasn't even my own, necessarily, would be popular. I also think many of them didn't even read the article. They just saw someone suggesting not voting and freaked out, like all American citizens are taught to do. VOTE! YOUR VOTE COUNTS! IT IS THE ONLY WAY TO FIX THINGS (even though the problems just seem to be escalating) AND IF YOU DON'T VOTE, YOU'RE ESSENTIALLY CASTING A VOTE FOR EVIL (oh, and by the way, you have to vote for the lesser of two evils).
I got accused of being an undercover Republican strategist a few times. (Ha, clearly they didn't read the Big Bird article.) More frustratingly, about 30% of the comments were some variation on "If you don't vote, you don't get to complain." And what if you're complaining about the very system of voting in the first place? You still have to vote? I'm still going to vote, but we need to acknowledge that voting once or twice a year is literally the smallest way to be politically active. And if that's your one contribution, then all the otherwise active non-voters have way more of a right to complain about you.
Anyway, the point of the article was not to convince people not to vote, but to incite a discussion. It's too bad people won't even entertain other points of view.