In defense of not voting

Source: Washington Post
by George F Will

“Time was, presidential years featured solemn sermonettes about the citizen’s duty to vote, and the virtue of prodding the apathetic to plod, even if sullenly, to the polls. There has, however, always been a twofold difficulty with such civic piety: Even in normal times — remember those? — there was no such duty. And hectoring the uninterested and indifferent to express their opinions with ballots must lower the caliber of election results. This is not a normal time. Granted, scores of millions of Americans normally — and reasonably — think their political options should be much better: The memory of man runneth not to a time when voters exclaimed, ‘What a divine presidential choice we have this year!’ Still, 2024 is so abnormal, consider, without necessarily embracing, an argument in defense of principled nonvoting. Plainly put, the argument is: Elections register opinions. Abstaining from voting can express a public-spirited and potentially consequential opinion.” (05/08/24)