Go Vote

- - The Future

From Seth Godin’s Blog:

This year, fewer than 40% of voting age Americans will actually vote.

A serious glitch in self-marketing, I think.

If you don’t vote because you’re trying to teach politicians a lesson, you’re tragically misguided in your strategy. The very politicians you’re trying to send a message to don’t want you to vote. Since 1960, voting turnouts in mid-term elections are down significantly, and there’s one reason: because of TV advertising.

Political TV advertising is designed to do only one thing: suppress the turnout of the opponent’s supporters. If the TV ads can turn you off enough not to vote (“they’re all bums”) then their strategy has succeeded.

The astonishing thing is that voters haven’t figured this out. As the scumminess and nastiness of campaigning and governing has escalated and the flakiness of candidates appears to have escalated as well, we’ve largely abdicated the high ground and permitted selfish partisans on both sides to hijack the system.

Voting is free. It’s fairly fast. It doesn’t make you responsible for the outcome, but it sure has an impact on what we have to live with going forward. The only thing that would make it better is free snacks.

Even if you’re disgusted, vote. Vote for your least unfavorite choice. But go vote.

There Are 10 Comments On This Article.

  1. I have never understood Americans apathy when it comes to voting. But, then again, I am not an American. How can people be so quick to go off to war but so reticent in making an effort to cast a vote?

  2. If you really want to do your homework before you walk into the polls, head down to the local social services office where you can talk to those unemployed and those without any hope of health insurance.

    Your party affiliation does not really matter when you’re sitting across from a mother with a three kids looking for a voucher for gas to get her kids to school.

    You get a true understanding of just how broken our system is and maybe voting is your only voice to making a difference. I can guarantee this is a place where “free snacks” would be appreciated.

  3. scott Rex Ely

    Vote for the liar you believe more often.

    But remember, as Jerry Garcia said:” Voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil”

  4. Maybe the reason people don’t vote is because the whole system is a joke with little change regardless. Democracy is failing. I could give a whole list of ways to make the world a better place, but it would never happen regardless of who is in power.

  5. Jeff Staples

    This post is nonsensical crap from start to finish.

    “The very politicians you’re trying to send a message to don’t want you to vote.”

    This is plainly not true, and the author acknowledges this fact just a little bit further down in the post:

    “Political TV advertising is designed to do only one thing: suppress the turnout of the opponent’s supporters.”

    Politicians don’t want to decrease voter turnout per se, they only want to decrease the number of people who vote for their opponent. So voting will only teach politicians a lesson if you vote for their opponents. But guess what… the opponents are running scummy advertisements, too! And even if you could limit your vote to those politicians who don’t run advertisements (or scummy advertisements), there’s no way for the politician to attribute their success to their abstention from (scummy) advertising.

    But the worst part of the post is this:

    “[Voting] doesn’t make you responsible for the outcome, but it sure has an impact on what we have to live with going forward.”

    This is just as bad as (if not worse than) the bullshit that politicians shovel all day. If voting has an impact, then voters MUST bear responsibility for their vote. Voters can only avoid responsibility by denying the impact of their vote. But voters want it both ways: they love to abdicate responsibility while maintaining the efficacy of their votes. The lie of guilt-free voting (and this post, generally) is sickening.

  6. The republican and democratic parties are crap because they work for themselves instead of the people. The system needs to change and the only way for it to happen is for everyone to speak up by using their vote.

    If people don’t vote we can’t take back control of our country and lives. “We the People” is what needs to be remembered.

  7. Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch – Ben Franklin

  8. Andre Friedmann

    Seth Godin has it incomplete. The point of political campaigning is to mobilize the base, sway the undecideds, and turn off the opposition. These three forms of persuasion (mobilize, sway, turn off) are remarkably similar to marketing and advertising.