How I avoid demotivating myself away from voting
It’s that time of year again: three days from today is Election Day. I’ve written a few posts about voting over the past couple of years here already, and I’ve clearly changed my attitude about it over time:
- November 2011
- April 2012: I was too apathetic to vote.
- November 2012
- May 2013
- November 2013: I voted but wrote nothing about it.
- May 2014
This is my first post before an Election Day rather than after having voted. Why the change this time?
Reflections on my past behavior and attitudes
I have always been frustrated by politics and voting. That showed in my posts in the last three years. I always got very emotional and torn about the whole process. I finally settled on a habit of trying to minimize my involvement, not paying attention to any races or “debates” or any political coverage in the news until the night before Election Day, but I was still unhappy.
The situation now
Today, it is still the case that I have not looked at any political coverage for Tuesday. In fact, I have no idea who’s running for what, with one major exception: Governor of Pennsylvania. That’s been in the news for a year now, and totally unavoidable if you live in PA at all, and especially if you bothered to vote in the primary in May, which I did.
It turns out that I am accidentally less angry now than I used to be, because unknown to me, Abby has intercepted all political flyers arriving in our mailbox or on our doorknob (how dare they!) and recycled them, with one exception.
Negative emotions came back
Today I saw a flyer in a pile of mail. I tried not to see anything as I picked it up and recycled it, but it was impossible to see something. I have to hand it to the designer: the name of the politician reached my eye somehow, even though I prided myself on not seeing a single word (at least consciously) of anything else on the flyer.
A rush of disgust and anger came my way, as I reflected that actually, this is someone I already decided last May in the primary to vote for in the general election. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, flyers that are shouting, negative, fear-mongering, and deceptive piss me off and make me want to puke down the throats of these politicians, especially those I expect to vote for.
(Note that in order to minimize bias, I have never heard this guy talk, and barely recall what he looks like, although I think I saw some head shot back in May. Also, I have no idea what he’s been doing or saying since May, or whether any truly major scandal has broken out, although I assume I would have heard by now if so. I will learn what I need to know on Monday night.)
Taking more control
But now, after having read that fascinating article yesterday about emotional manipulation, I have decided that these politicians are only doing the rational thing in their game, nothing personal. You might want to argue that this is a flaw in democracy, as many ancient and modern philosophers have, of course, but that would be another topic of discussion entirely.
I was also annoyed by the robocall on the answering machine at home today, from the same guy.
Action to further minimize annoyance
We shut off the answering machine for our land line. We will not be answering any phone calls until after Election Day. Actually, we are not sure why we need any phones connected to our land line anyway, because in principle we could make sure all relevant accounts list our cell phones as our primary phone numbers (most already do but some old ones don’t yet). We only need the land line for DSL purposes. The land line has been mostly nothing but trouble, a target for robocalls of all kinds.
Also, I wish there were a way to stop getting junk mail in general. Not just the election season junk mail, but all junk mail.
There will be no Election Day blog post on Tuesday. I’ve said all I need to say for this Election Day.comments powered by Disqus