Voter Apathy: Why I Don’t Vote

Admittedly, part of the reason I don’t vote is because I’m incredibly lazy. Apathy is generally the term used for people such as myself who don’t turn out to decide who the next president should be. I don’t feel that this term “apathy” applies to me specifically though. Apathy implies a lack of interest or concern, and while I do agree that I often feel a lack of those things, a hatred of standing in lines also weighs heavily in my conscious decision not to vote.

I’m not alone. Well, actually I may be alone in terms of laziness, but not in terms of voter apathy. In 2004, only 55.3% of the voting population turned out to vote for federal elections, and that was up about 18% from 2002. The spike is probably because it was a presidential election, and deemed more important.

It’s very easy to understand why voters feel apathetic. Our (actually your) votes seem to be almost pointless, unless you happen to live in a swing state. According to television, most states fall under a predetermined color coding of either red or blue, depending on whether or not you’re a Republican or a Democrat. Why should one go out and and vote when your state’s votes seem to be predetermined and there are only two parties to choose from, neither of which you may agree with.

Right now, there are a few people reading this article that agree fully with me, and are hoping I touch on the idea of civil disobedience. They’re probably yelling at their monitor right now, something to the effect of: “Right on, yeah! Not voting is our way of saying that we don’t recognize your totalitarian regime. If enough people don’t vote, the government has no legitimate claim that it upholds the will of the people! Also, Bush is a weasel!”

Stop yelling at your monitor, I don’t agree with you. Quite frankly, I wouldn’t choose to live anywhere else on earth, or under any other form of government. While I turn my nose up a bit at the idea we truly live in a “free” country, the stability that the good ol’ US of A offers is too good to pass up. If I need a real job, I can generally go out and find one (It may be a sucky job, but it’s there). I don’t often worry about how I’m going to eat this week. I can go to the movies. All in all, a pretty kick-ass setup for yours truly. My needs don’t stretch much beyond those things.

By now, a few more people are going to shout things like: “If you don’t vote, you can’t complain!” and “If you don’t exercise your rights, one day they may be taken away!”

Well, I beg to differ. I not only CAN complain, but DO complain on a regular basis. Part of living in this great country is the right to bitch about whatever I want, whenever I want, without real justification. I’m pretty sure it’s written right into one of the amendments, or commandments or something.

Also, one of the rights I choose to exercise is the right to not have to vote if I don’t want to. I certainly don’t want that right taken away, so I’ll exercise it often. Till the day I die if need be.

The real reason I don’t vote, and the reason that I think many others don’t vote, is that we’re all too content. Regardless of who’s president, I can always buy cigarettes, wine and McDonalds. Not unlike my dog, if I’m well fed I have little incentive to get up off the couch. Find a way to end people’s sense of well-being, and you’ll fix the problem of voter apathy.

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