Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The position of principled non-voters is a lot more interesting to them than it is to anyone else. While this form of self-indulgence is given a microphone once in a while on such venues as NPR, it is filler, cranberry relish. But no one really cares other than the principled non-voter being intervewed. Politicians don't care. Why should they? Voters don't care either. These people are voluntary non-entitites in the real world of politics. Even other principled non-voters don't care except to envy the moment of attention which, in their hearts, they know should be theirs.

Their analog is found on most blog comment boards, where the mic is open to anyone. I've read a lot of them and in the past have engaged some of the ones who seem less silly than the others. But I've never heard an argument from them that begins to make sense.

Democracy is the most complex kind of politics, relying on the collective wisdom of the general population. And it is a gamble. It bets that the majority of the people are more likely to come up with the right decision and will also prove less corruptible than a favored few. But no one should go into the business of gambling with their eyes closed. The results will often favor the house. Gamblers should never forget that while they are lying bets other people are too and other players stand a chance of winning, especially if they cheat. And we know they do. You can increase your chances by looking at the situation as it is, not betting it all on a hunch, not losing your temper, watching everyone and calling them on their dirty dealing. The only alternative to taking the gamble and fighting to keep the game honest is to give up.

In normal times I might like some people who aren't willing to make the bet and join the fight. I might make small talk with them but these aren't normal times. I don't have time for anyone who is giving up. They have removed themselves from the possiblity of bringing about positive change. I will not bother talking to someone who is not going to exert themselves to bring about positive change. Other than as an exercise in attention getting, I don't know what they are doing on political blogs. They'd be happier elsewhere.

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