Friday, November 23, 2012

The Futility of Voting?

Before the elections, various people, mostly disgruntled left-liberals, wrote Internet pieces suggesting that voting was pointless since a single vote meant nothing and, anyhow, Obama wasn’t all that different than Romney.  Now I appreciate the arithmetic. As a proportion of the population, I should have a right to 0.000000003333% of a say in national affairs; but even if you make a correction for the enormous number of people who read this blog—almost 5,000 over ten years—I don’t have a claim for much more than 0.0000083333% of the available political juice.  But I disagree with the counsels of despair, because there are people whose vote did matter and mattered a very great deal.

The fundamental reason that Republican-leaning pundits got the election wrong, bias and sheer innumeracy aside, was their considerable underestimation of the political participation rate of blacks, Hispanics, and young voters.  I’ve been involved in many political campaigns over the years and know how difficult it is to get a college student to even remember that it’s election day, let alone to vote; but, the fact is, this year, college students did vote and so did members of supposedly apolitical America’s minorities.  I expect they are going to notice the consequences as even the crustiest Republicans recognize electoral facts and your relatives don’t get deported and you get a break on your student loans and your grandmother doesn’t have to eat dog food. The rules are changing. It’s a different country if the whole population votes.  As the Chinese say, the journey of a thousand Li begins with a single step. Yep, and the rectification of national politics begins with a single yank of a lever.