Toledo Talk

Theory: The non-voters are happier than the voters

  • "Where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise."
  • "What you don't know can't hurt you."
  • "Not knowing something is more comfortable than knowing it."

I think the predicted voter turnout locally on Nov 6 is around 35%. That sounds about right. I'd be surprised if it topped 40%. No majority will decide anything at the polls on Tuesday because the majority of the eligible voting public won't even go to the polls. Technically, a winning candidate or levy will win with only 15 to 30 percent of the public's support.

Reposting my Nov 10, 2005 comment from a Toledo Talk thread titled Recall Mayor Finkbeiner :

I know it's fashionable to rip on people who don't vote, but when the majority of people aren't voting, maybe they know something the minority don't. Like in the end, it's a waste of time to pay attention to politics because we'll get screwed over in the long run anyway no matter who wins. A tax cut here, that's nice. Oh look, taxes went up over there. That service is implemented, but another one got cut.

How much time per week would it take for an individual to be so-called "informed" of what's happening in politics at the local, state, and national level? Leave out national politics if you want. How much time per week is required to be "in the know?" Four hours per week? That's a little over 30 minutes per day devoted to consuming info about local and state politics. And maybe national politics too. Is that enough time to formulate an intelligent opinion and come up with a choice by election day? 35 minutes of study per day. Doesn't sound like much time. And that's everything, reading the paper, reading websites, listening to the radio, and watching TV.

Four hours per week for politics. But in the end, what's the benefit? Maybe the majority who don't vote and don't pay attention to politics have it all figured out. Maybe the majority of the population are laughing at the people who are making a big deal about politics.

Instead of wasting four hours per week following politics, the majority use those four hours as extra family time or personal time. Maybe it's time used to take a class in the evening at the local college in order to become more marketable in the workplace. Instead of four hours per week following politics, maybe that time would be better used if it went toward community service.

You know that a certain percentage of voters have no clue what's going on in politics. So why should a voter like that be praised just because he or she went to the polls, but someone who chooses to ignore politics is criticized for not voting? Most of the non-voters won't gripe because they don't care. And I don't have a problem with their non-caring. Maybe they're too busy simply living to care about politics. They're focused on doing the best they can to provide for themselves, their family, and their community. And they don't need politics for that.

Maybe the non-voters have decided that the best way to combat the idiots in politics is to better his or herself personally in order to get a better job that either makes the person happy or brings in more money. Or even both. How's that saying go? "The best revenge is living well." Waiting for an elected official to make you live well is a losing proposition.

Some doctor should do a study. Are the people who pay zero attention to politics healthier and happier than the hardcore political junkies? I'll guess yes.

Don't vote.
Makes no difference.
Happy people versus unhappy people.
Non-voters are more enlightened and cheerful than voters.
What you don't know can't hurt you, which leads to ignorance is bliss.
Too much time required to know the issues.
Take a class or volunteer.
Visit family, friends.
Diet, exercise.

created by jr on Nov 06, 2007 at 12:55:06 am
updated by jr on Jul 23, 2008 at 03:06:47 pm
    Comments: 6

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Comments ... #

Maybe politics is important. A lot of people just "endure" the results of majority votes.

My mother doesn't vote. She manages to adjust to whatever some majority votes into being. She lives better than her parents did (at least materially), but they lived better than their parents did.

I had a great-grandfather who committed suicide. No one ever really told me the reason. Maybe they didn't know. It was around 1930 or '31 so it may have had something to do with his economic situation (by then farming had some reliance on capital to get the resources to put in a crop). But on the whole my family, if not prospering, survived with a belief in God and/or their own will (depending on the member).

They (then) felt grateful to the "government" for "commodities" (the same "socialist" efforts that are now put-down by libertarians). Rather they would have lived long enough to raise another generation without government help is something that can't be known, but can be debated for years. In return the government took a lot of the land out of production. My grandfather (among others) lost land to the Daniel Boone National Forest (my grandfather told me once: "some of those hills had some of the prettiest little farms on them").

posted by oldsendbrdy on Nov 06, 2007 at 10:52:31 am     #  

World War II (certainly a political decision) brought my mother's family north to Cleveland where my grand-father found work in manufacturing. Better money with less work than trying to mine from coal from hillsides, working for a logging company, or trying to raise a crop (left to the woman and children while he was away). My mother got work in a mail-room when she was old enough. After the war was over they returned to their homestead in southern Kentucky. So maybe it's economics (and that can be affected by politics) that affects people more. It would be interesting to speculate on how different things would have been if instead of going to war with Germany we had only fought Japan. We didn't go to total war right away. Would we have done so if we only had to fight Japan? Would people have been as affected economically, or politically as they were by involving ourselves in a world war rather than a regional war with Japan? Could we have lived with a Nazi Germany in the world? Politics does have some bearing on the world, but do we give it more (or less) credit than it deserves?

posted by oldsendbrdy on Nov 06, 2007 at 11:06:09 am     #  

Seems like most people believe in the virtues of a passive free market (yet can't name an example where one actually operated effectively). They even equate it with democracy, freedom, and justice. For lulz perhaps.

Then we have a passive school system that doesn't seem to please anyone.

Entertainment is passive TV, passive radio, passive movies.

Even video games are mostly passive and organized sports are to the extent that most if not all decisions are beyond participants control.

Most politicians run not to upset the legacy the previous gangs of nondescript "me too" drones.

Hypothetically, if I've been trained since a little puppy to be obedient and passive, and since I desire some kick ass 5 alarm chili not boring prison slop/gruel, what are my options when it's not on the menu?

When all there are available is poor choices no matter the number, there's essentially no choice. A walk in the park seems more fruitful.

posted by charlatan on Nov 06, 2007 at 11:35:25 am     #  

This is another take on the non-voting crowd...

posted by MaggieThurber on Nov 06, 2007 at 11:42:51 am     #  

When all there are available is poor choices no matter the number, there's essentially no choice.

Charlatan FTW.

posted by Hulkster on Nov 06, 2007 at 01:01:35 pm     #  

I am miserable to report: I HAPPILY VOTED!!!!

posted by ToledoLatina on Nov 06, 2007 at 05:14:55 pm     #