The 6 F**king Stupidest Reasons Why People Don't Vote
It's been a rough road, folks. The last year was more disheartening and noisy than a drowning elephant. And now that we're days away from the election -- a lot of you no doubt just want it all to end. In fact, according to several studies, it appears that more than half of you aren't even going to leave the house on November 8th.
But while it's everyone's God-given right to not vote, considering what's at stake this year, never has a more wrong-headed act existed in the history of chucklefucks. Unless you're physically unable or 12 years old, there's literally no good excuse for skipping the ballot. That's why I'm calling on each and every one of you to get your slapping gloves calibrated for the following totally BS utterances ...
"Both Candidates Are Terrible!"
Back in 2004, South Park aired an episode called "Douche and Turd" which astutely pointed out that both presidential candidates are apple-polishing mannequins. Before that, Futurama made a similar observation with candidates Jack Johnson and John Jackson. And before that The Simpsons beat everyone to the punch when these two ran for president:
If you smush them both together you get Ted Cruz.
And they aren't wrong! Voting for a president is a lot like choosing between two soiled diapers to be pied in the face with. Best case scenario, the two corporately-owned pander-monkeys are benign but nearly identical. Worst case, they're a couple of ogres equally hungering for your soul. And the time-honored "Giant Douche vs Turd Sandwich" sentiment is no different when it comes to Clinton and Trump -- as evidenced by the countless memes going around.
Screw em' both ... right?
Why That's Garbage ...
It's true! Both candidates are totally identical this election ... provided that you're an upper-middle class heterosexual living on your parents' dime. For anyone of lower income or LGBTQ or of Muslim descent or worried about reproductive rights or recently immigrated or struggling with health care or a small business owner or worried about police brutality ... there is going to be a huge difference in the two candidates come November. Because both candidates have extremely different policies that will influence the country for decades to come.
And this isn't special to one election. That South Park episode? It aired right before America had to choose between these two guys:
After he was re-elected, George Bush oversaw Hurricane Katrina and nominated a Supreme Court justice. He continued the war in Iraq and saw the housing bubble collapse. To write off candidates as just a "douche and turd" was not only childish ... but actually misses the entire point of that South Park episode (the moral of which was that you should absolutely vote). And considering that both major political parties are slowly drifting in ideologies, it's never been a more important time for indecisive moderates to draw them back together with votes.
In the simplest, most incendiary terms: Not voting because you think both candidates are "in the pockets of Wall Street" or "equally terrible" is privileged and childish pigswill actively hurting the political process by justifying ignorance. Try and tell a lower-class family of immigrants running a corner shop in Chicago that you don't think it matters who wins the election, and watch those people laugh in your shitty little face.
Related: Happy Birthday, Badass - August 6
"The Elections Are Rigged Anyway!"
Depending on if you support the inevitable Donald Trump loss or the smoldering wreckage of Bernie Sanders's campaign, you might be inclined to point fingers at the election process itself being some kind of a dodge on the American people. For the former group, the worry is that voter fraud will somehow rig the election, while Liberals tend to think that billionaires will buy the election right out from under us.
Both seem plausible, right? Take, for example, Sheldon Adelson ... a casino magnate who looks as if he should be perpetually lighting a cigar with money. Sheldon has spent huge sums of cash in order to get his candidate elected -- such as dishing out $93 million in 2012 for this guy ...
Oh. Right ...
Why That's Garbage ...
For those not paying attention, Sheldon's millions didn't exactly turn the tide for Romney's election. In fact -- as multiple studies have determined, money simply doesn't buy elections. The reason we think it does is because the candidates who are most likely to be elected get more donations (and not the other way around). This is like claiming that flies kill people because there's always a lot of them hanging around a corpse. But at least there's some truth to the "money = winning" logic, unlike the claim that voter fraud is a big problem in this country or even a thing to begin with.
The study in question looked at over 2,000 cases of election fraud in the U.S. between 2000 and 2012 to find that of all those instances, only 38 were actually prosecuted ... and only 2/3rds of those 38 involved voters and not officials or volunteers. And of those twenty-something cases, not a single one involved impersonation of a voter. And this is but one of seven written works, four government inquiries, two news investigations, and one court ruling all finding zero evidence that voter fraud is a problem in the U.S. Not to point fingers -- but anyone pushing the idea that this election will be rigged is either some kind of giant baby or actively attempting to deceive the American people or both.
Related: Happy Birthday, Badass - August 5
"My Candidate Wasn't Nominated, So What's The Point?"
Let's not kid ourselves: There were a lot of primary candidates who might have been a better choice and somehow failed to be nominated. For a lot of people, their own parties' monumental failure to pick idealistic favorites like Bernie Sanders or non-rapey options like Jeb Bush or Ted Cruz was pretty much a deal breaker.
For a lot of Republicans, the last few months have played out like a Black Mirror episode where everyone's swapped with conspiracy theorist goblin people. So what other choice do they have but to stay home and pout like an uninvited birthday party guest?
Why That's Garbage ...
Throwing your vote into the ocean is exactly what the opposing party wants you to do. Why do you think Trump has begun to cozy up to Bernie supporters?
Orange Thunder has invoked Bernie's name during several debates -- attempting to remind his supporters of the bad things Clinton said about him during the primaries. The idea is simple: Either get his fans to vote Trump, or bum them out enough to not vote for his opponent. This isn't party-exclusive, as Clinton has taken to complimenting Ted Cruz on his un-endorsement of Trump along with reminding religious conservatives what an immoral garbage puppet he is.
You may hate your party's' candidate, but keep in mind that abstaining in protest isn't brave so much as it is exactly what the other party wants you to do. And that's the best-case scenario ... the worst being that you accidentally support a madman.
Back in 2002, France's election was so bogged down with candidates that there were 16 people on the ballot for the first round of elections (France has a kooky two-round election system). And thanks to a great number of protest votes from people unhappy that their party wasn't properly represented, somehow the election boiled down to a seasoned politician and a fascist crazy for the National Front Party. And while ultimately the right person was voted in by a landslide, it's insane to think someone that unhinged got so far in the system ... right?
So what happens if you really, really don't like Hillary or Donald ... but are aware that a vote against them is a vote for the party you disagree with? Who do you turn to when your candidate didn't get nominated in the primaries?
Well ... why not look to that fallen candidate? They might not have been nominated, but if you believe in them it stands to reason that you can still listen to who they endorse. Or hell ... maybe actually consider voting for the other party. I know that sounds insane -- but if you seriously can't endorse your party's candidate on ethical grounds, it might be worth the moral stance of voting for the other person:
"I Want A Serious Third-Party Option!"
There are some sad circles of the internet that still believe that Bernie Sanders can be elected. Seriously, that's a thing.
For a lot of people -- the idea of writing in Bernie Sanders or voting for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson isn't about winning the election, but sending a message. As it stands right now we're trapped in a two-party system where any outsider is declared a lost cause and therefore gets no votes and therefore gets declared a lost cause. Clearly, the only way to break that cycle is for more and more people to vote for a third-party candidate until it becomes a more viable option.
Maybe not next election ... or the one after that ... but at some point this system will work, dammit!
Why That's Garbage ...
Look -- no one is saying that supporting a third-party is a bad idea or a waste of a vote. What I AM saying, however, is that supporting a third party every four years and then completely forgetting that party exists IS a waste of a vote.
Imagine it's the Purge and you spend 364 days of the year being a total dick while doing zero home invasion preparation. You can't then spend the final day rushing to Home Depot for razor wire and plywood and get angry when your family is brutally murdered by a pack of Aphex Twin background dancers. Equally stupid: Expecting a third-party system to be viable when you only support that party at the last freaking minute.
Green Party: The Choice Of Lazy College Freshmen Since 2001!
This is why, currently-speaking, third-party options are so far from viable that there isn't a case of them making a significant dent on any election (yes that includes the one you're thinking of). Currently the most powerful Green Party office-holder is a single mayor of a small California town. Compare that to the Republican Party -- which when founded in 1854 worked from the ground up on a state level before taking over the House and Senate. Lincoln wasn't some grassroots candidate that everyone wrote in on Election Day; he was an established member of the Whig party who split off to help abolish slavery.
The best modern example is surprisingly the Tea Party -- who attempted to take smaller political positions before dying out in 2012. Say all you want about the people running that movement; at least they knew how to actually form a party ... albeit one that thinks Obama is a secret gay Hitler socialist who wants to give our guns to Muslims.
Related: Happy Birthday, Badass - August 3
"My Vote Doesn't Even Count!"
Elections 101: The way the electoral college works is that states have a certain amount of electoral votes that go toward the candidates. Those votes are decided by the popular vote in each state -- meaning that it's rare but possible a candidate could get fewer votes from citizens but still become president because of how those votes are spread across the country. This means that if you're a Republican in an undoubtedly blue state like Massachusetts, your vote doesn't really count.
This is why candidates tend to focus on certain battleground states where the vote can actually go either way. Meanwhile, the rest of us get to watch as places like Ohio get called a "great state" way more times than anyone is comfortable with -- including most Ohioans.
Why That's Garbage ...
Here's the thing: Everything I just said is true. There's no myth to debunk about the value of a single vote in the majority of states across the US. Only none of that information makes you any less of a wafting coward for not voting based on that information. Remember this guy from Lord Of The Rings?
Buford T. Ringlord
Your single vote will never be Aragorn leading a spectre army into the depths of Middle Earth. Instead, your vote is a green speck in the swarm behind him -- meaning that no one would be the wiser if you quietly fucked off to go have a ghost sandwich at The Prancing Pony or wherever. And you know? That's technically your right to do if you truly just don't give a shit about the fate of the country. But what you can't be is this guy:
Oh, you remember. He's the surrogate king who declares all hope lost, lights himself on fire, and does a belly flop off the side of a cliff. He's the guy who does nothing constructive because he's too busy whining about how nothing matters. Fuck this guy.
The truth of the matter is that, yes, a single vote on Election Day doesn't matter that much -- because no one really intended it to. PSAs play up the importance of voting for presidents because that's the only way we can get people to do the bare-minimum amount of work. I can't stress this enough: voting for a president is the bare-minimum you can participate in democracy. And if you actually want to matter more, there are tons of ways you can do this. You can volunteer for campaigns, flyer your neighborhood, go into politics yourself, or simply vote in your local elections where your vote counts way, way more. Heck, only about 40 percent of all Americans get off their asses for mid-term elections despite those making an insane difference on the country.
Anyone who complains that their vote doesn't count but doesn't participate in the midterms should be dick-slapped in the eyes. They're whining that their minimal effort is too ineffective while refusing to improve those odds or learn how the system actually works. This is like complaining that no one is passing you the basketball while watching the game on TV from your couch.
And somehow this isn't the most rage-inducing attitude on this list ...
"The World Is Screwed So None Of This Matters"
Fuck everything, right? Climate change is going to turn our grandkids into marauders while the public is too busy 'ooohhh'ing at an endless parade of Kardashians and Biebers hogging the airwaves. Politicians are all hypocrites in it for themselves. Pumpkin spice is oozing in the streets. David Bowie is dead. People are too dumb and hopeless to evolve, and it's only a matter of time before this planet shakes us off like a wet dog casting mud and twigs.
MMMMNNNNUUUUHHHHHH! That's the sound you're making through those sneering lips, you animal.
What's the goddamn point of voting when the sun and/or Jesus will evaporate us anyway, right?
Why That's Garbage ...
Plot twist: Not only do things get better -- but they do so because of the politicians we choose to elect.
I live in Los Angeles, a city that was once known for its snarky, fish-out-of-water Beverly Hills police force and the ominous cloud of smog that filled the pores of every barely-breathing citizen. Then back in the '70s through '90s, emission standards for cars were dramatically changed and laws were passed that have since boosted the quality of life in the area. And one of the biggest sources of this change was the creation and updates to the Clean Air Act in 1970 and 1990 -- all thanks to help from these guys:
It was Nixon who signed the act into law. Later, while running for the oval office, George Bush Sr. campaigned on being an environmental president before getting elected and actually fulfilling his promises by updating the Clean Air Act. Meanwhile, other countries passed their own laws and did their own studies ... and today that ozone layer has almost completely healed itself.
Things can change. But they don't do it by writing premature obituaries for the Great Barrier Reef or vowing to move to Canada if the wrong candidate wins. They change by electing people who will do stuff like legalize same-sex marriage or pass climate change measures to keep fighting against global warming. They change by electing mayors who cut down crime and then having a debate about which policies were actually responsible.
Now stop being such a stupid baby and go line up outside an elementary school like the patriotic weirdo that you are.
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You know all those facts you've learned about psychology from movies and that one guy at the party who says, "Actually ..." a lot? Please forget them. Chances are none of them are true. Take the Stanford Prison Experiment, the one famous psychology study people can name. It was complete bullshit. Funny story actually, it turns out that when you post flyers that say, "Hey, do you wanna be a prison guard for the weekend? Free food and nightsticks," you might not get the most stable group of young men. So join Jack O'Brien, Cracked staff members Dan O'Brien and Michael Swaim, and Psychology Professor Martie G. Haselton of UCLA as they debunk Rorschach tests, the Mozart effec,t and middle child syndrome, so soon you can be that person at the party who says, "Actually ..." Get your tickets here!
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