October 24, 2016

"In reality, there is no such thing as not voting..."

"If you are bored and disgusted by politics and don't bother to vote, you are in effect voting for the entrenched Establishments of the two major parties, who please rest assured are not dumb, and who are keenly aware that it is in their interests to keep you disgusted and bored and cynical and to give you every possible reason to stay at home doing one-hitters and watching MTV on primary day. By all means stay home if you want, but don't bullshit yourself that you're not voting. In reality, there is no such thing as not voting: you either vote by voting, or you vote by staying home and tacitly doubling the value of some Diehard's vote."

A quote from David Foster Wallace, stumbled into while looking for a list of people famous for not voting.

I'm still looking for a good list of famous people who don't vote. I found a list of 10 from 2012 (in Mental Floss). It includes Zachary Taylor:
Before “Old Rough and Ready” was elected president in 1848, he had never voted. This can partly be explained by Taylor’s constant relocation as a soldier; he never established residency and never registered to vote. But our 12th president also reportedly claimed that he would never want to vote against a potential commander-in-chief—even when his name was on the ballot.
There was this "Don't Vote" hipsterism in 2008, which I can't put up with long enough to figure out how it turns into a pitch to vote for Obama...



... but it does make me think that we are not getting the kind of celebrity videos for Hillary that we got for Obama in '08. But we must be getting some, because there's this:



Okay. Working backwards from that I got to this.



How did that escape me?

57 comments:

Sydney said...

Not voting can be a better choice than voting. Think of the Black Mirror episode The Waldo Moment.

MadisonMan said...

How did that horrible celebrity video escape you? You are Very Very Lucky, that's how.

Brando said...

The only time a celebrity endorsement is worth noting is when it plays against type, like a country music star or football player endorsing a Democrat or a pop singer or actor endorsing a Republican. Otherwise, it's like "oh look, Lena Dunham has something to say, I'm sure it'll be some brilliant insight to make me change my mind about who I vote for."

rehajm said...

How do they not run that mocking ad instead of the crappy, generic, forgettable earnest PAC garbage?

SayAahh said...

Not voting is a vote.

Bob Ellison said...

I'm Hollywood Whore, and I approve this message.

AprilApple said...

My favorite celebrity political video is the Ashton Kutcher-Demi Moore video where they promise to honor and Obey Obama, Amen.

AprilApple said...

"If you chose not to decide, you still have made a choice."

-Rush

Lauderdale Vet said...

There was also a Pepe the frog rebuttal to the Save the Day video.

JAORE said...

Celebrity (a word NOT derived from cerebral) endorsements are one of the negative factors in my personal algorithm for determining which candidate gets my vote..

PB said...

Journalists should not vote or donate to political campaigns or parties, particularly if they write or comment on those campaigns or parties.

Jupiter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Henry said...

In reality, there is no such thing as not voting: you either vote by voting, or you vote by staying home and tacitly doubling the value of some Diehard's vote.

This presumes that you would be voting against the diehard. But at the same time, you would have to be voting with a diehard of alternate persuasion. In a two-party race, the non-voter (or the third-party voter) represents one of three outcomes, not two. If you don't vote the two diehards cancel each other out: 1-1. If you do vote you create a 2-1 situation.

* * *

If you look beyond the short timeframe of the current election, there is a very good reason not to vote. Voting is a price signal. If enough people don't vote, it signals to future candidates that the current candidates are unacceptable and an alternate candidate could find support that the main-party candidates have lost.

Make a down-ballot vote for a Senator, Representative, or State or Local Official you really like, and you also build up the future prospects for a stronger candidate than the ones you ignore.

Vote third-party and the same thing is true. Third party candidates can't win, but he or she can push ideas into the political arena that the main-party candidates have to deal with.

mccullough said...

I doubt the turnout this year will reach 2012 level, much less 2008. About 1/3 of eligible citizens aren't even registered to vote. Of those registered, less than 90% voted in 2012.

tim in vermont said...

The two party system has failed, and, as I am wont to say, "If you are in a hole, stop digging." For this reason, I am not wasting my vote on the Democrat or the Republican. I will stop digging. Maybe there will be enough of us to get some attention. Maybe not, but we don't have a democracy right now. The book on this election should be called "The Baking of the President" because that's what they did, they worked the levers and baked in the woman they knew they could buy for money, which is what they have.

tim in vermont said...

What I don't get is why the press goes along with it. I guess they are just as manipulable as the general population, perhaps more so.

Balfegor said...

Re: PB:

Journalists should not vote or donate to political campaigns or parties, particularly if they write or comment on those campaigns or parties.

On the contrary, they shouldn't hold back. They should vote and disclose who they vote for and donate to. It's not like the act of abstaining from voting eliminates the mental impulses that lead one to vote for this candidate or that (although there may be a mild lock-in and rationalisation effect after one votes). Sunlight is the best disinfectant, as they say. Expose those biases to the world!

TML said...

The Robert Downey Jr. one probably gave 1.75 million votes to Trump. Unbelievably insufferably smug and obnoxious. Do they not understand how much we hate them?

Lauderdale Vet said...

> Maybe there will be enough of us to get some attention.

One of the two will get elected. The winner ultimately appreciates your lack of participation.

JSD said...

General Patton never voted during his life, he felt to do so would contravene his code of honor. "I am in the pay of the government. If I vote against the administration, I am voting against my commander-in-chief, if I vote for it, I am merely bought."

David said...

Celebrities? Man that sucked.

Darrell said...

Lefty luvvies. Their private jets and limos don't impress us.

tcrosse said...

Yesterday evening on the local Las Vegas ABC affiliate news broadcast there was coverage of an LGBT GOTV rally. The rally spokesperson stressed the importance of LGBT people to vote for HRC because otherwise they would no longer be able to have gatherings like this, or even to exist. The young lady reporter covering this repeated the admonition with a straight face. Which is when I tuned out. First, how many LGBT people actually bought this, and second, how many homophobes actually bought it ?
BTW, HRC took her sweet time 'evolving' on LGBT rights.

rhhardin said...

The chances of an issue that you care about losing by one vote is zero. So it doesn't pay to vote.

Even so, consider what happens if you vote and the opponent votes to cancel you. The issue is even.

But if you persuade the opponent your way, it's 2-0 in your favor. Persuasion is more powerful than voting!

Now consider what happens if you don't vote but persuate a hundred opponents to vote your way. It's 100-0. The pen is mightier than your vote, by an unlimited amount.

Blogging beats voting hands down, assuming you know how to make an argument.

An ad hominem argument used to be one that was tailored to flatter your opponent, which is the only kind that works.

Today they use the modern defninition and insult the opponent. That doesn't have much power at the polls.

traditionalguy said...

I am undecided. Let's negotiate. To the highest bidder goes my vote. Rig Me.

cubanbob said...

JSD said...
General Patton never voted during his life, he felt to do so would contravene his code of honor. "I am in the pay of the government. If I vote against the administration, I am voting against my commander-in-chief, if I vote for it, I am merely bought."

That ought to be the law for the 47%.

campy said...

Fortunately there's such a thing as not giving a fuck what David Foster Wallace thinks.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice

Permanent Waves, 1980.

narciso said...

it's sad when the avengers are voting hydra, I chalk it up to the mindstone,

Deb said...

People who get paid millions of dollars to dress up and play make believe trying to tell us how to vote.

Original Mike said...

Scott Adam's take on not voting

Sigivald said...

What Henry said.

And also, if you sort-of align with any of the parties, major or minor, but don't like why they're doing...

Try telling them.

Just like a store boycott - silently doing it is a thousand times less effective than telling them why.

Titus said...

I hate celebrity endorsements, except when they support a republican.

John Voight and Chachi are amazing patriots.

buwaya said...

"What I would like to see are election results where the Democrat candidate gets over 90% of the vote (approaching Saddam Hussien numbers) but where at least 50% of the eligible voting population no longer participates."

See California.

buwaya said...

"John Voight and Chachi are amazing patriots."

Arguments against interest.

buwaya said...

"On the contrary, they shouldn't hold back. They should vote and disclose who they vote for and donate to."

No doubt. The problem isn't what journalists personally prefer. Nor even what their publishers direct them to say, which is why they say what they say, not their personal convictions. This is a profession after all.

No, the real problem is that ALL the publishers have the same interests and are organized in the same alliance, and direct their minions accordingly.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

If you believe that the parties, election process, media, federal government and its agencies are corrupt, why vote? Participating only provides a veneer of legitimacy to these entities and the process.

Notice how upset the media and left became when Trump wouldn't immediately agree to accept the election results. They suddenly claimed to be concerned with the idea that tens of millions of citizens might consider this circus to be "rigged". This included hair-on-fire pronouncements that this would be the "end of Democracy as we know it." Funny how they had no such concerns when Democrats said similar things.

Well, something's killed our faith in the system and it isn't Trump. Democrats have been so successful at undermining every element of the election process that there really is no point in voting. They own the government, are above the law and are protected by a compliant media.

What I would like to see are election results where the Democrat candidate gets over 90% of the vote (approaching Saddam Hussien numbers) but where at least 70% of the eligible voting population no longer participates. If we are going to live in this kind of corrupt world, I want Democrats taking total responsibility. No Republicans to play the Washington Generals. No diversions for the media. Just one party in power and one party to blame when it all fails. Which, of course, it will. Continuing under the current path only serves to make the decline slower and politicians like Hillary richer.

C Stanley said...

What DFW leaves out is that those same establishment figures interpret voters' intentions in the way that suits their own interests too (not just nonvoter's intentions.)

They've learned that they simply have to fearmonger about their opponents, because we've all accepted the "binary system". So they may in fact want some people to remain bored and unengaged, but even more so they want SOME voters to be highly motivated by the fear of not voting and enabling some apocalyptic scenario.

Damned if you vote, damned if you don't.

buwaya said...

" those same establishment figures interpret voters' intentions in the way that suits their own interests too"

This is mere rhetoric. Nobody on the inside takes this seriously in itself. It is useful only as something to feed the public. Most of what you hear is engineered and tested for effect.

C Stanley said...

I think it's time to revisit the Insrant Runoff System.

At the very least I'd like to see a "none of the above" option to indicate that some voters are willing to take the time to vote but register dissatisfaction with the slate of candidates. One option I'm considering is to abstain from presidential voting but vote a straight R ticket below that. It occurred to me though- during the FL 2000 mess, wasn't there some talk about presuming that those kinds of ballots actually should count for the party preferred in the other races, a presumption that the blank was accidental?

JWH said...

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/10/24/why-im-not-voting/

Ignorance is Bliss said...

In reality, there is no such thing as not voting...

Sure there is. It's called not voting. It does not absolve you of responsibility for what you do with your opportunity to vote, and whatever messages your [in]action sends.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

C Stanley said...

...It occurred to me though- during the FL 2000 mess, wasn't there some talk about presuming that those kinds of ballots actually should count for the party preferred in the other races, a presumption that the blank was accidental?

Don't worry. Such presumptions will only be made if they help Democrats.

C Stanley said...

Haha, yes, obviously true IIB. I was thinking of it more in the abstract, of whether it is even possible to signal an affirmative vote against the two main party candidates.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Luckily for him, David Foster Wallace was smart enough to find a loophole, allowing him to not vote and to not not vote at the same time.

William said...

I'm suspicious of any group that is 90% or above in favor of anything. I suspect that their decision is tribal rather than political......Advertisers pay celebrities big bucks to endorse their products. My guess is that these celebrity endorsements do have some effect on the election......They just add to my cynicism, but I'm old and crusted over. A lot of people probably mistake the actors for their roles and follow the advice of Han Solo and Ironman because they always know what's up.

Jeff said...

Don't vote. It only encourages the bastards.

I saw that on a bumper sticker a long time ago.

bf01fcc0-c239-11e3-8f35-000f20980440 said...

Ronald Reagan was doing poorly in the "polls" and won by a landslide. I think the media is trying to condition most people that Clinton will "win" when she steals the election.
Like the polls in Kentucky that had both Governor Bevin and Senator Mitch McConnell losing when in reality they mopped the floor with those regressive libtards??? Polls are tools to be used properly or deceitfully. Nothing more.

Polls have proven to be nothing but a Clinton propaganda channel in the same class as CNN and MSNBC. They are not fooling anyone.
The people know who is winning just by comparing the rallies attendance, Trump gets 80 times the attendees.
Guess what, we are all showing up to vote.

I have not met a single person who supports hillary where I live and I work with the public. The poll data is manipulated the establishment media is lying through its teeth.
She is up in the rigged polls. The Wikileaks email memo's explicitly state to
:1. Inflate poll numbers and
2. Declare early victory in order to discourage Trump voters.
Podesta said it himself.



If your voting machine is a SmartMatic brand, DEMAND a paper ballot. George Soro’s now owns SmartMatic. You have the right to require a paper ballot, and under FEDERAL LAW the polling place MUST provide one for you.
Don’t throw your vote away.

Why aren't any of the media talking about the Clintons and Cathy O'Brien??
She has sworn that as a child she was raped by Hillary Clinton.
Why wouldn't you investigate and cover this story?
She says she had sex as a child with both, but mostly Hillary!
This explains how Bill molested Monica over a 6 month duration in the oval office under his families roof, and how Hillary never caught them, she was watching, this also explains why she has defended him and never left him.

Liars and cheaters...women who are against Trump are ok supporting a woman who is a lying corrupt thief that sticks by a man who absolutely does not respect women.
I mean really? It's embarrassing!

We're all supposed to disregard the ugly comments that the Obamas have made about # Hillary Killary in the past,
I remember the Obama's saying not to trust her. She will say anything to get a vote.
But now I see them campaigning for her. Go figure.

Despite the erased emails, the fatal incompetence and dishonesty of Benghazi, the lies and the horrific, inhumane practices that she believes in (late term abortion), cheating Bernie during the primaries, Clinton foundation and victims of her husband, people will STILL vote for her. It's just how sad this country has become.
Anything that is in bad light for Hillary,the media & her supporters just dismiss, but they are quick to turn around and point at some made up hysteria against Trump and crucify him as if all the rhetoric is true and proven.
It's their double standard that insults & angers decent people.

You are mentally deficient if you can't tell the truth from a lie or realize when someone is corrupt or not. It's even sadder when it comes from women whom feel that they need to vote for her because she's a woman.

Joe Biden said he would love to take Trump behind the Gym.
Everyone has him all wrong, he 's not looking for a fight, he want's to show Trump his impression of Monica Lewinsky!
Sorry Joe, Your boss Obama swings that way, but your out of Luck with Trump.

My grandfather is voting for Hillary. Tried talking him out of it but he has been dead for a while now. Trump 2016!

The Cracker Emcee said...

"2. Declare early victory in order to discourage Trump voters"

Which makes little sense because it's far more likely to make the Donk's LIV constituency apathetic. Don't know if the polls are accurate but they're probably not far off. Of course, those undecideds...

Big Mike said...

A few thoughts.

I clicked on the link and watched the Save The Day dot Vote commercial. You. Owe. Me. BIG. Time.

I see that the actors in the commercial are concerned with one of the candidates having his (Got that? "His") finger on the nuclear button because he frequently said "You're fired." 'Cause you fire missiles. Or something. Apparently they have no concerns about a different candidate who started an unnecessary war for no good reason except that it enriched one of her personal friends. Why wouldn't they be more concerned that we could get into a nuclear exchange if that female candidate happened to be elected? I certainly am.

That the country we went to war with (Oops! "Kinetic military action.") is now a failed state makes me think that George W. Bush was more right than wrong with his nation-building. But that's an issue for another time.

Who is Mark Ruffalo and why would women (and gay men?) be motivated to vote in the upcoming election by an offer to show his genitalia?

sunsong said...

Jackson Browne - Lives in the Balance

tcrosse said...

The Nevada ballot has a 'None of these candidates' option, but even if it gets a majority it's not allowed to win. Too bad.

tcrosse said...

If Hillary gets the Nuclear Button, she'll probably set it up in her home bathroom, right by the toilet paper. Some morning, when she's feeling icky, she'll push it and blow up all the men.

Yancey Ward said...

Not voting is a vote- it is a vote for not legitimizing whoever wins. What we really need is a "None of the Above" option that can actually win the vote- you either win against your opponents and "None of the Above", or the office goes unfilled.

Qwinn said...

Here in PA we are being carpet bombed with commercials about how Trump and some local congressmen have a "radical agenda" to "defund planned parenthood". No other issue is ever raised... sometimes we'll get 3 of these ads in one commercial break. This has been going on for over 2 months. I never ever want to hear about how conservatives are dumb for being single social issue voters again. Liberals are utterly obsessed with abortion. It's become a religious sacrament.

And the hilarious thing to me is - who cares if it's defunded? Obamacare is supposed to pay for everything PP does! Their single obsessive issue is pretty much based on the assumption that Obamacare sucks.

Fen said...

April: "If you chose not to decide, you still have made a choice." -Rush

CUT! CUT! That's MY line. Damnit to hell! Where's the girl with the red M&Ms? I'll be in my dressing room. Just you wait until my agent hears about this! M&M girl! Stat!

:)

narciso said...

this as close as robert downey gets to his coked up hipster days, when he was touting christic institute conspiracies,