Every presidential election, I hear arguments for and against voting in the U.S.  They all seem very strange to me.  Usually, a person says voting is pointless, because they live in a safe state or that no candidate represents their views so feel it is a waste.  Sometimes, they say that it is not worthwhile, because the time it takes to vote is outweighed by the chance their vote makes a difference.  This, of course, ignores all down-ballot races.  Putting non-presidential races aside, these arguments really misrepresent what voting is and instead try to justify it through various capitalist notions of efficiency or efficacy.

You have four major obligations as a citizen of the United States: (i) paying taxes; (ii) voting; (iii) jury duty; and (iv) service in the armed forces.  Voting is one of the obligations that is not forced upon you.  Nonetheless, you should vote.  I know that the notion of one’s duty is quaint, but you should vote because it is your right and obligation as a citizen of the U.S.  It’s as simple as that.  Capitalist arguments of whether your vote will effective or a gratifying consumer act are irrelevant, because voting is a democratic civic duty, not a economic, capitalist market action.


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