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vividgroovy
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19 Jul 2022, 10:00 pm

I hate politics and I don't vote. I have a friend who keeps pestering me about it. He told me that he doesn't just want me to vote, he wants me to vote specifically for the Democrats. He goes through phases where he leaves me alone about it and then something in the news prompts him to start up again. Right now it's the January 6th hearings. He was telling me about how this recording is going to incriminate Trump and I was like, "Well, it's nice that that's all coming out." I believe the response he was hoping for was more like, "Oooh, that Donald Trump! He just makes my blood boil! I can't wait to vote Democrat in the next election!"

Next, he tried talking about a Republican friend of his and how he tried to make her see she's voting for a party that "only stands for oppression" and from there, he segued into his usual spiel about how I need to "Vote Blue."

I don't believe my vote would make a difference anyway. The only way that it would is if there was a tie and my vote was the tiebreaker. "WHY DOES EVERYONE ALWAYS SAY THAT?!" he angrily replied.

Here are a few of his explanations of how my vote would, in fact, make a difference:

-- It sends positive vibrations into the universe.
-- It sends a message to people in power, who apparently decide if they can get away with being corrupt based on whether or not one random citizen cares enough to vote
-- A metaphor comparing my vote to "a pinch of salt" added to a meal

In the end, he said that it "hurts his heart" that I won't vote. (He once said he would "die" if Trump got re-elected).

Also, he's a Christian and I'm an atheist. This makes things interesting, because he supports LGBTQIA+ rights (this was one of his talking points) but doesn't personally agree with the "lifestyle choice" of being gay. While I think there's absolutely nothing wrong with being gay (I'm asexual myself) but have never gotten involved in the politics. He also briefly believed in a conspiracy theory that COVID was a plot by the Anti-Christ and that the vaccine (that didn't exist yet at the time) was the Mark of the Beast. However, he seems to have forgotten he said that and is now totally pro-vaccine.

This guy happens to be a Democrat, but I don't think the Republicans are any better in this area. I once had one of them use the old "If you don't vote, you can't complain" nonsense on me. (What's funny is, that guy is obsessed with "Star Trek" and Marvel, just like my Democrat friend.) The more exposed I am to politics, the less I want to do with it. The opposite of partisans' supposed goal.

Anyone other apolitical people experience this?



Last edited by vividgroovy on 19 Jul 2022, 10:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.

VegetableMan
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19 Jul 2022, 10:32 pm

Tell your friend to go f**k himself.


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vividgroovy
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19 Jul 2022, 10:37 pm

VegetableMan wrote:
Tell your friend to go f**k himself.


Sometimes I'd like to. It's a complicated situation. He is my ride home from work at Midnight, as I don't drive. I met him when he was a cab driver, when there were still cabs around here. I also pay him for it, but much less than I would pay for an Uber or Lyft, if I can even get one.

Also, I'm a very non-confrontational person -- he's the one who always brings up politics, not me. I think near the end he sensed that he had pissed me off. After the "it hurts my heart" bit he started trying to be friendly again.



kitesandtrainsandcats
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19 Jul 2022, 11:42 pm

vividgroovy wrote:
The more exposed I am to politics, the less I want to do with it. The opposite of partisans' supposed goal.


I have been on both sides of the "Yes! Vote!" and "why bother" thing at various points in my life.
Sometimes I will say, things like, "So hard to decide whether to vote for the party that's satanic or the party that's cruel and corrupt".

And I am still a bit on both sides of the argument at the same time.

And even though you and that friend have opposing outlooks I will tell you both at the same time that you are okay to have that outlook.

But the thing is, now that I'm living on Social Security Disability and Medicare, state and national politics can determine whether I live or die.
And ...
That has affected my outlook ...

A few years ago a vote the state legislature made on a bill and then the governor the voters elected signed it and took away my eligibility for Medicaid - even with my SSD income amount being right at the poverty level for a household of 1 according to the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Local, and state, politics have a direct impact on a person's life,
They control, to varying degrees in various locations:

Public works, such as streets, bridges, et cetera; their number, their locations, their maintenance.

Your billing rate for & other fees and taxes on utilities such as water, sewer, electricity,

What cable TV and what internet companies can operate in your area.

State and local politics can make or break the quality of the water running from your faucets.
(Ask the folks in Flint, Michigan, about that one)

Police & Fire departments - whether your city gets new or more fire trucks, and how many it can keep maintained

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) - especially city and county ambulance services

Rent costs and affordable housing

Zoning for what businesses and housing can be built where and when.

Business licenses for what companies can sell or make what products in your community.

Public transit - if any, our farm burg has none.

Alcohol and marijuana ordinances

Taxes - property taxes on you car, house, boat, and such

Taxes - sales taxes on your food and nonfood goods

Justice - some places elect Sheriffs and Judges and County Prosecutors

vividgroovy wrote:
After the "it hurts my heart" bit he started trying to be friendly again.

True, that's the only data I have, but I'm going to expect that indicates a compromise may be in the making, even if merely an "agree to disagree" style compromise.

But, yes, there is a time when a person has stated several times that they don't want to do a thing to leave them alone about it.
Which is exactly what I just now did not do! :lol:
Oh well, such is life.

Here, read these, one from Harvard, one from The New York Times:
(bold added by me)

The Importance of Local Elections
By
Matthew Gross
November 24, 2020
https://harvardpolitics.com/the-importa ... elections/
"
The stakes of local elections might not be as widely reflected in the media as they are about the Presidential Election, but local elections have real consequences. Whether it is the guarantee of having healthy drinking water or the benefits of maintained streets and bridges, infrastructure is a concern that should remain on the forefront of voters’ minds as they consider the candidates of a city-level election.

Apathy and low turnout should not continue to define local elections. Although the media and general civics education play a large role in fueling this lack of democratic participation, the causes are not as important as the steps that individuals can take to have their voice heard.
"


Why Does No One Vote in Local Elections?
Oct. 22, 2018
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/22/opin ... tions.html
"
America is facing a crisis on which, for once, Democrats and Republicans can agree: low voter turnout in local elections. Nationwide, only 27 percent of eligible voters vote in the typical municipal election.

New York City is typical. In 2017, 25 percent of the city’s registered voters participated in the mayoral contest. In Los Angeles turnout has been so low — 20 percent of registered voters in 2017 — that the City Council has used cash prizes to encourage voting. The numbers get even worse as you go down the ladder to county, school board and special elections.

The result is that an extraordinarily unrepresentative set of residents determines how local governments distribute services and spend the almost $2 trillion that local governments control. In some places, that means that politically active conservative, wealthy, older, white voters have disproportionate sway over local government. In others that means that organized and energetic unions can move policy their way. Seldom is that control shared across the spectrum — and democracy suffers as a result.
"

:arrow: I'd be kind of inclined to tell the friend, "Tell ya what, if you will stop pestering me about politics I will vote in local elections".


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20 Jul 2022, 12:26 am

I also feel like it's people's duty to vote and not back out or say they are apolitical as a reason not to. I feel it's a duty among people, but that's just me. So I say get out there and vote to :).

However, I don't think you'r friend should be trying to pressure you to vote for who he wants you to, and who you vote for is entirely up to you.



vividgroovy
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20 Jul 2022, 1:38 am

kitesandtrainsandcats wrote:

vividgroovy wrote:
After the "it hurts my heart" bit he started trying to be friendly again.

True, that's the only data I have, but I'm going to expect that indicates a compromise may be in the making, even if merely an "agree to disagree" style compromise.


I would have liked that, but unfortunately no. My position is already the "agree to disagree" one. I pointed out to him that I had never tried to get him not to vote and asked him how he would feel if I did. He said it wouldn't make any sense for him not to vote and I said of course he feels that way -- he wants to vote!

Quote:
But, yes, there is a time when a person has stated several times that they don't want to do a thing to leave them alone about it.
Which is exactly what I just now did not do! :lol:
Oh well, such is life.


Yes, thank you! At one point, I actually kind of made a point for his side by mentioning that there had been a few elections that really were decided by one vote. He replied, "YOU'VE SAID THAT BEFORE!! !" Well yes, we've said all of this before. He knows my position. I don't know why he thinks the same arguments over and over are going to change it.

I appreciate that people have legitimate reasons to be interested in politics and that more people voting might lead to a clearer picture of public opinion. I think if people believe in the power of one vote to change society, then it should be their own.

I've always been a person of extremely narrow and intense interests and politics is not one of them. For a non-political example, I sometimes think that my financial situation would have been improved if I had pursued something practical like plumbing instead of artwork, but the interest is just not there.

It's not like we live in a tiny village and I'm the only person left who hasn't voted. Maybe he should go after someone who's more on the fence about it. I decided years ago I wasn't interested and the past few years on social media -- as well as conversations like the one I had with him -- have really cemented my negative feelings about politics. The actual discussion of important issues is almost totally obscured by sensationalism and "my side's better'n' your side!" pettiness.

Even if I was willing to vote in local elections, I don't think he would accept that compromise. He's very into national politics. He's never said anything about the local stuff. I get so annoyed with him, I consider telling him if he doesn't stop, I'll vote Republican, but I really don't want to do that, either.

ironpony wrote:
I also feel like it's people's duty to vote and not back out or say they are apolitical as a reason not to. I feel it's a duty among people, but that's just me. So I say get out there and vote to :).


That is a popular position that I disagree with. I think the right to vote includes the right not to vote -- which at this time in the U.S., it does. I once asked someone online how he planned to convince non-voters to vote and he replied that he shouldn't have to -- voting should be mandatory, he said, and non-voters like me are "criminals." (Which needless to say, didn't make me want to vote.) If a lawmaker ever made voting mandatory, I would vote for whoever they didn't want. Then I would make sure they knew that I only did so because they forced me to vote.

Quote:
However, I don't think you'r friend should be trying to pressure you to vote for who he wants you to, and who you vote for is entirely up to you.


I appreciate that :).



Last edited by vividgroovy on 20 Jul 2022, 2:51 am, edited 3 times in total.

ironpony
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20 Jul 2022, 2:38 am

Quote:
That is a popular position that I disagree with. I think the right to vote includes the right not to vote -- which at this time in the U.S., it does. I once asked someone online how he planned to convince non-voters to vote and he replied that he shouldn't have to -- voting should be mandatory, he said, and non-voters like me are "criminals." (Which needless to say, didn't make me want to vote.) If a lawmaker ever made voting mandatory, I would vote for whoever they didn't want. Then I would make sure they knew that I only did so because they forced me to vote.

Quote:
However, I don't think you'r friend should be trying to pressure you to vote for who he wants you to, and who you vote for is entirely up to you.


I appreciate that :).


And yes totally okay to disagree over :). And I also concur that a person has to want to vote as forcing will just cause disengenuous votes.



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20 Jul 2022, 3:52 am

vividgroovy wrote:
VegetableMan wrote:
Tell your friend to go f**k himself.


Sometimes I'd like to. It's a complicated situation. He is my ride home from work at Midnight, as I don't drive. I met him when he was a cab driver, when there were still cabs around here. I also pay him for it, but much less than I would pay for an Uber or Lyft, if I can even get one.

Also, I'm a very non-confrontational person -- he's the one who always brings up politics, not me. I think near the end he sensed that he had pissed me off. After the "it hurts my heart" bit he started trying to be friendly again.


I see there are extenuating circumstances involved here, so forgive me for being blunt initially. It's just that I can't stand anyone shoving politics in my face.

I hope you both can work it out.


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20 Jul 2022, 2:53 pm

Honestly, your friend is right - you should vote.

There are a few reasons to vote even if your vote will rarely change the outcome. The first is that you aren't the only person. There are lots of people like you. If everyone like you thinks that they won't bother voting, then people like you will not impact upon the race. If people like you do vote, then acting together, you can influence the race.

There are other reasons (using your vote to send a signal, voting because political power derives its legitimacy from the act of voting), but I don't suspect they'd appeal much to you.

As for who you vote for - that's of secondary importance to actually voting, but in the US right now things are so polarised that generally the Democrats are much more likely to be good, sensible people. If you don't want to think about it too much then voting Democrat is nearly always the right decision.



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20 Jul 2022, 3:38 pm

The last Presidential election was the first one I voted in. My religion was against voting, and even when I left, I could get in trouble if someone saw me going in.

ANYWAY, you have the right to choose not to vote. I remember the frustration I felt when people tried to get me to vote. If I were you and wanted to make the conscious decision of not voting, I wouldn’t be afraid of telling a little white lie to stop the pestering. There’s no reason why people have to know one way or the other. It’s your business.

For me, it felt good to vote. I felt like I was standing up for what I believed in for a change (even though, ultimately, my vote didn’t matter). It also can help one feel like part of the community, I think.


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vividgroovy
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21 Jul 2022, 3:36 am

ironpony wrote:
And yes totally okay to disagree over :). And I also concur that a person has to want to vote as forcing will just cause disengenuous votes.


Thanks :).

VegetableMan wrote:
I see there are extenuating circumstances involved here, so forgive me for being blunt initially. It's just that I can't stand anyone shoving politics in my face.

I hope you both can work it out.


I'm glad to see someone else feels that way. It makes me very uncomfortable when politics is shoved in my face, whether online or in person. There are plenty of designated places (like this forum) for people to discuss it.

I hope so too. Most likely what will happen is that he will go back to not mentioning it for a while and then some other news story will come up and he'll bring it up again. My general experience with people, whether or not politics is involved, is that they want to change me but they don't want to change themselves.

The_Walrus wrote:
Honestly, your friend is right - you should vote.


To be honest, I really am not ever going to.

Quote:
There are a few reasons to vote even if your vote will rarely change the outcome. The first is that you aren't the only person. There are lots of people like you. If everyone like you thinks that they won't bother voting, then people like you will not impact upon the race. If people like you do vote, then acting together, you can influence the race.


Everyone doesn't think like me, though. There are millions of voters. As for my fellow non-voters, I don't think there's anyone who doesn't vote because I don't. I only mention that I don't vote if someone asks point-blank. Everyone who's asked me has been a partisan for either the Democrats or Republicans and they all tried to influence me, generally using the same handful of phrases. Not one of them seemed tempted not to vote by finding out that I didn't.

There might be any number of reasons why people don't vote, but if political parties want to influence the ones who are on the fence about it, perhaps they should look into their concerns and improve some of the things people find off-putting about politics.

Quote:
There are other reasons (using your vote to send a signal, voting because political power derives its legitimacy from the act of voting), but I don't suspect they'd appeal much to you.


Those are basically the same reasons my friend gave and you are correct, I don't find them convincing.

Quote:
As for who you vote for - that's of secondary importance to actually voting, but in the US right now things are so polarised that generally the Democrats are much more likely to be good, sensible people. If you don't want to think about it too much then voting Democrat is nearly always the right decision.


I appreciate the beginning of that first sentence. I see how third-party/independent voters are treated by partisans and it's basically identical to how we non-voters are treated. I seldom see anyone saying to them, "Well, at least you voted."

I asked my friend if he would prefer a one-party system, with only the Democrats in charge. He said no. So I asked him what the other party should be and he said it was okay to be a Republican, but these are extremists. But earlier he said their party only stood for oppression.

Twilightprincess wrote:
The last Presidential election was the first one I voted in. My religion was against voting, and even when I left, I could get in trouble if someone saw me going in.


If you felt moved to do it, I think that's great. I hope you don't get in trouble.

That's how I used to feel about politics and causes in general. I used to see, for example, Occupy Wall Street on TV and while nobody ever seemed to say what their actual platform was, I would think, "Good for them." Then social media taught me that (some, not all) activists and political people would hate me for existing and not already being one of them.

Quote:
ANYWAY, you have the right to choose not to vote. I remember the frustration I felt when people tried to get me to vote. If I were you and wanted to make the conscious decision of not voting, I wouldn’t be afraid of telling a little white lie to stop the pestering. There’s no reason why people have to know one way or the other. It’s your business.


Thanks :). It's funny, as mentioned I am non-confrontational and I'm not above telling a white lie to get out of being in conflict with someone, but when it comes to ideological stuff like this, I usually feel compelled to be honest. I've pointed out to my friend in the past that the only reason he knows I don't vote is that I was honest about it.

The other thing is, even if he did think I voted, I don't think that would be the end of it. In my experience, organizations always want more from you, whether they are the retail corporation I work for or political parties or what-have-you and when my friend gets like this, it's like it's not even him talking -- it's them talking through him. I'm reminded of something one of my ex-Facebook friends posted: "Vote -- it really is the very least you can do." I'm sure that after that would come other ways he'd want me to participate. I'm just trying to be clear up front that I'm not going to.



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21 Jul 2022, 3:46 pm

I hate it when people try to persuade me to do a thing. I don't mind them discussing a matter with me if they're willing to keep their minds open, or recommending in a no-pressure way that I do this or that, but railing at me with a closed mind does no good.

I'm not allowed to vote in the US elections. I'm allowed to vote in the UK but I haven't voted for decades. I used to think it might be important but these days I can't get round the fact that in practical terms my voting won't change anything. I live in a "safe Labour seat" so under normal circumstances Labour will win here whatever I do. And there's nobody I'd want to support. None of them are going to do anything much that I'd like them to do. I've seen governments of both colours and I'm not impressed. I don't see it as a moral thing that we all should or shouldn't do. It's normally considered OK to abstain from a vote.

I don't even know that my preferred way of running the country would do more good than harm.



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27 Jul 2022, 3:28 am

^

I'm glad to see there are other people with similar feelings. I can't stand the hard sell method and the people doing it seem to be unaware (or don't actually care?) that they're repelling me instead of drawing me in.

Likewise, I live in a "Blue" state, so at least when it comes to the presidency, his side always wins my state without my vote, but that doesn't mean anything to him.

The last few nights, my friend hasn't mentioned politics. He did have the radio news on one time, which is probably still intended to work me up about the issues (it does not), but he didn't say anything about it.



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27 Jul 2022, 9:01 am

Tell your friend to shut up about politics.


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27 Jul 2022, 10:56 am

I think your friend needs to find new friends.


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