I've heard a lot of people, particularly on the left, who have become disillusioned by the political process, and thus have ceased the practice of voting. I think there are a host of legitimate reasons to take this position. However, the most common one I hear is not. I'd like to talk about that today.
The way I hear this point summed up most commonly is that the political candidates are all the same. the Democratic party has become conservative. they're center-left, of course, but they exhibit the same kind of corporatism that their opposition in the Republican party does. This is true to some extent. After all, President Obama made ninety percent of the Bush tax cuts permanent. This is a profoundly conservative move, proof of which can be found here.
Events like these will often lead the above disenfranchised people to say something along the lines of, "That's why I stopped voting. I didn't want to keep electing the lesser of two evils."
Do I even need to explain the problem with this argument? It's the fucking lesser of two evils. Someone is going to be elected no matter what happens. One person not voting isn't going to change that. In fact, not voting is probably the worst thing you can do if you want to send a message. The whole point of democracy is that the people must have a way to send a message to their elected representative. You know how we send those messages? We fucking vote. That's how you affect change, by electing candidates who have views that will better the nation. But sometimes boring establishment people win the nomination. Sometimes the choices aren't radical enough. You know what we do then? We vote for the lesser of two evils. As I said, someone's gonna get elected either way, it might as well be the person closest to the correct one, especially if the precisely correct one is nowhere to be found.
Just something to think about.