Have you?  Will you?

We have mail in ballots in my state.  I just voted.  I hope you will too.

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I voted on the first day of early voting - got my little "I Voted" sticker. I've voted in 13 Presidential elections and been on the winning side 5 times and hopefully  on Nov. 6 it will be 6 wins.  As Rachael Maddow says, “If you don't vote because it's to difficult – then you are fulfilling someone else plans”  

Ok, for fun, here's an exercise:

Please give a RATIONAL reason why I should vote. The chance that my vote will change the election are astronomically small. "because it's the right thing" or "because I'll feel good" are emotional, but not rational reasons. "What if everyone didn't" doesn't count because my vote has no affect on 'everyone'. "Because it gives you the right to complain" is a complete non sequitur; the fact that no candidate remotely earned my vote does NOT mean I can't complain.

So, how about a hard nosed, rational justification?

“No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.”
Voltaire, among others.

I don't know how you define rational, but voting is the mass effect of many individual actions and inactions. It is the basis for democratic society. The fact is that your individual vote, by itself doesn't matter. Neither does one brick in a wall, or one one car on the road, or one soldier in an army. But taken together, votes matter a lot.

In the end, no one can be convinced that their individual action matters, if they take an entirely individualistic point of view. That's the argument between individualism and communitarianism. But much of human history is via mass action.

Here's where I completely disagree with you, Jay. Your response seems to be focused on the presidential election. When you get your ballot, there are generally quite a number of other candidates and issues on which to decide. Things that are local to your community, depending on the State in which a voter lives. City council persons, county officers such as sheriffs, prosecuting attorneys, judges, treasurers, water and fire commissioners, etc. I happen to live in a county with a population of 7,000.  Of that, there about 3,000 eligible voters. And of that number, probably 2,000 actually cast ballots (I know - I held elected office in that county for 8 years). I once saw a judge, who presides over the local circuit court from traffic to murder cases, get elected by 13 votes.

Skip the presidential slot if you feel like it. But if a school board member, who ends up doing a crappy job, wastes money, and is a creationist, gets into office in a squeaker, you still going to complain? 

You said it better than I did.

What led you to conclude that life is rational?????

Your not having done yourself in proves that you too are irrational.

Be kinder to your nose.

Keep in mind that I'm not actually trying to discourage voting, but critiquing some truisms.

"voting is a mass effect". But that's the challenge. Whether I vote or I don't, it won't change the mass effect. What I do does not change what others do.

This differs from conventional communitarian arguments in that in helping in a disaster, for example, each person's work changes things, where as in voting, it does not.

Just voted yesterday.  Hopefully the outcome I prefer will occur this next Tuesday.

I'm a bit curious if the East Coast damage will have an effect on voting.  Extended voting hours or perhaps even extending the last day to vote might have to be an extreme option in some areas. 

I guess I'm a traditionalist.  I will vote next Tuesday, right after I get my teeth cleaned!

Which is the tradition?  Voting or having your teeth cleaned? 

Both, actually.  It's just that, this time around, they happen to coincide!

And I wonder how much money was spent by both parties on your single vote. With 311 million people was it 50 cents per vote ... a dollar a vote?

I remember when they used to say - If only we spent that money going to the space program on reducing poverty - there would be an improved society.  They always ignored the spinoff technological benefits.

Wouldn't it be nice if all that money spent on negative advertising could instead be used to accomplish something positive?




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