Why You Should Still Vote Even If You Think It Doesn't Matter

The Week's Ryan Cooper calls the 2014 midterms "perhaps the least consequential American election season in a generation," but argues that's not a reason to stay home.

In a post from earlier this week, The Week's Ryan Cooper called the 2014 midterms "perhaps the least consequential American election season in a generation." He argues that the United States is hurtling toward plutocracy, and that regardless of how you vote, election results are only going to benefit those who have purchased political favor.  

At the same time, Cooper makes the case that not voting, even if you have little faith in the system, would be foolish. To vote is to show your worth. If enough people of a certain demographic do it (I'm talking to you, millennials), the two big parties will see that there are underserved demographics they need to appeal to.

Cooper also appeals to the memory of the late British politician Tony Benn, who embraced the revolutionary nature of democracy even though he questioned whether the U.S. (and U.K., for that matter, could call itself one:

"Voting in itself won't protect your rights or secure beneficial policies. But it is a key first step to getting there. As the British politician and activist Tony Benn once said, 'I think democracy is the most revolutionary idea in the world. Far more revolutionary than socialist ideas or anybody else's ideas — because if you have power, you use it to meet the needs of you and your community.'"

Benn marveled at democracy's ability to transfer social power from the marketplace to the polling place. To completely forgo voting would be to abdicate what little power society grants you. In a way, Cooper's argument could probably be summed up as "the only thing worse than voting is not voting."

Read more at The Week

Photo credit: American Spirit / Shutterstock

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

26 ultra-rich people own as much as the world's 3.8 billion poorest

The Oxfam report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency."

Getty Images and Wikimedia Commons
Politics & Current Affairs
  • A new report by Oxfam argues that wealth inequality is causing poverty and misery around the world.
  • In the last year, the world's billionaires saw their wealth increase by 12%, while the poorest 3.8 billion people on the planet lost 11% of their wealth.
  • The report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency." We explain what Steven Pinker's got to do with it.
Keep reading Show less

Your body’s full of stuff you no longer need. Here's a list.

Evolution doesn't clean up after itself very well.

Image source: Ernst Haeckel
Surprising Science
  • An evolutionary biologist got people swapping ideas about our lingering vestigia.
  • Basically, this is the stuff that served some evolutionary purpose at some point, but now is kind of, well, extra.
  • Here are the six traits that inaugurated the fun.
Keep reading Show less
  • Facebook and Google began as companies with supposedly noble purposes.
  • Creating a more connected world and indexing the world's information: what could be better than that?
  • But pressure to return value to shareholders came at the expense of their own users.
Keep reading Show less