Sunday, May 17, 2020

Why Young People Don't Vote

Followup to yesterday's posting, "Why Would Democrats Sabotage Biden?", where I noted:
Ultimately it doesn't matter if Bernie people don't vote Biden. Bernie people didn't even turn out to vote for Bernie! That's why he lost!

Young people mostly don't vote, though Bernie, like every radical demagogue before him, was counting on a wave of participation by a contingent known to be far more mouthy than participative.
Why didn't the staunch Bernie fans actually come out and pull the lever for their beloved candidate? Why do young people so seldom vote, even though they're loud and energized?

On social media they feel mighty, smiting the wicked, venting their fury, and righteously delivering their enlightened message. It's like hollering into a hot microphone; a flattering echo and heft are seemingly added to their utterances. And when they attend a rally, they're more than part of a greater movement - they imagine they are the greater movement.

But voting? That's an unflattering action which reveals an unbearable truth: They're each a speck. A mere data point.

The segment that votes is old people. I used to figure it was because they have lots of time on their hands; they wake up super-early and need dull activities (mah-jongg, knitting, etc.) to fill their days before dinnertime at 4:45.

But no, that's not it. It's because they don't mind functioning as data points, having corrected the misimpression that they're starring in a cinematic experience. As I once wrote:
Maturity is the correction of the misconception that you're the protagonist in this drama.

You're not. You've never been. You're a character actor, briefly adding your bit of unique color to the action.

The evidence which accumulates to prove this only feels harrowing for those who insist on clinging to the misconception.
Old people - or, at least a lot more older people than younger people - tend to have integrated this truth. And that allows them to engage in steady, sane, unflattering actions like voting.

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