Why I'm Voting. Period.
[Disclaimer: I'm not sure if this is the appropriate place for this. Mods, feel free to relocate it]
Nilay posted a blurb about why the issue of Net Neutrality has informed his choice of candidate. Putting aside commentary regarding his position on this issue, or the candidate he is supporting, I'd like to address a theme that arose in the comment section and that I've seen across the web this election season. This theme is that an individual's vote doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things, specifically, or whatever.
I vehemently disagree, and for a number of reasons. I will spare you my canned rants on the matter, and instead present you with the thoughts of Steve Waldman. I came across this today and found it to be especially enlightening. Here's his post on the matter: http://www.interfluidity.com/v2/3570.html
My executive takeaway: Fewer voters increase the likelihood of a truly awful president, and more voters increase the odds that we select the better leader from the pack.
In this age of partisanship, I urge you to reach out to those you know and encourage them to vote, regardless of whether their political views align with your own. Our nation will be better for it if every eligible voice speaks, and is heard.
From the source:
"Suppose that there is no general welfare correlated to election outcomes, and apparent signals thereof are just noise. Then, if people falsely believe in "national leadership" and vote based on a combination of that and more partisan interests, we’d have, on average, the same distributional contest we’d have if people didn’t falsely believe. At worst we’d have a differently skewed distributional contest as one side manipulates perceptions of general interest more adroitly than the other. But suppose that there is a general interest meaningfully correlated to election outcomes, in addition to distributional concerns. Then "idealism" about the national interest, manifest as citizens working to perceive the relationship between electoral outcomes and the general welfare, voting according to those perceptions, and encouraging others to do the same, could lead to significant improvements for all. There’s little downside and a lot of upside to the elementary-school-civics take on elections."