Bill Roper (billroper) wrote,
Bill Roper

Do You Believe In Magic?

Democracy, on the large scale, operates by magic. It has to.

Politicians will tell you that your vote matters, even though it is very, very seldom that one vote makes a difference. In fact, those same politicians do their level best to make sure that your vote doesn't matter, by carefully drawing the lines of the various districts that you vote in to create the maximum number of "safe" seats -- a euphemism that is easily translated to "Your vote doesn't matter". This is true of both Democrats and Republicans -- it's an equal-opportunity crime against democracy. I've been drawn into a safe lakefront Congressional district, although I live far from the lake. I could, without too much trouble, walk to two or three districts that are much more competitive than the one that I've been stuck in. Such is life.

Despite this, I intend to go vote tomorrow knowing that my vote is almost certainly going to make no difference whatsoever.

Voting is an exercise in sympathetic magic. If I stay home tomorrow, then magically some other voter whose preferences resonate with mine will also stay home. And that will cause some other similar voter to stay home. Pretty soon, the vast majority of the people who might vote for some of the same candidates that I sympathize with are all staying home. And the people who have been trying to make sure that my vote doesn't matter get what they wanted.

It works the other way too. If I get off my duff and go vote, then some other similar voter is going to get up out of his (or her) chair and go vote. And that will cause someone else to go vote. If enough of us vote, the people who want to make sure that my vote doesn't count get a big surprise.

And sometimes they do.

So I will vote tomorrow.

Because I believe in magic.
Tags: musings, politics

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