Guest column: Undermining the puppeteers
If you don’t plan on voting, consider the opportunity cost of reading this article; you could instead be browsing through YouTube until your brains drip out of your ears. But for those enjoying the lost leisure of reading, it’s time to reflect on our suffrage.
The impending national election begs the question: How valuable are our individual votes, actually? If you are a politically active student, your demographic is merely whispering in the national argument. Furthermore, many of us are indifferent to our choice of candidates. Lest we forget, the problem perpetuates through the almighty Electoral College, generalizing the consensus of the nation to maintain the two-party system.
I’d say it’s about time to protest, wouldn’t you? Don’t worry, comrade; I’m not asking for sit-ins and picket signs. I’m talking about the protest vote.
Many consider casting a vote for a third-party or fringe candidate a waste of a vote. But the purpose of the protest vote is not to elect one of these ideological symbols, but to bring attention to the dissatisfaction of the people. By not voting at all, besides acting like a bratty Westerner spoiled by your Bill of Rights, you take away half of your political voice. College students have the ability to garner quite a bit of political attention.
Remember the ’60s?
Additionally, by voting on the fringe or outside the blue and red, you are undermining the inessential Electoral College. This institution is at the root of the argument, “I don’t vote, because it won’t make a difference.”
This is an admittedly fallacious defense, but we have the ability to empower nonvoters by dejecting the power of this institution.
If enough people show frustration by protest-voting, the Electoral College won’t be able to accurately reflect popular consensus, which will call into question the validity of this institution. We have the technology to register every individual vote. Just consider the potential jobs! (Snicker.)
In summation: You’re literate, so don‘t play dumb. Get amped and vote any way you choose. Slap sense into your friends who are too busy tweeting to vote. If you’re disillusioned, follow me in subtle activism.