The purveyors of televised collegiate and pro sports -ESPN, Fox, Versus, et.al. – have taken to giving every weekend a nickname: Rivalry Weekend, Separation Saturday, and on and on. If they were in the business of televising election coverage, they might well call today “Toss-Out Tuesday.” Many people who go to the polls today will be voting against somebody.
A recent Rasmussen poll said 65% of likely voters would get rid of the entire Congress and start over. A lot of us are fed up with the crop of losers infesting Washington, and it doesn’t take a Rasmussen poll to know that there’ll be a lot of “voting against” today.
Fewer than 40% of Americans will vote today, or have voted already, because of the early and absentee voting that’s allowed and often encouraged now. I’m not going to get into the predicting business, either on turnout or result, but you can bet that I’ll be casting my ballot today at the Town Hall.
As marketing blogger Seth Godin says, “If you don’t vote because you’re trying to teach politicians a lesson, you’re tragically misguided in your strategy.” As Godin points out, since 1960 voting turnouts in the mid-term elections are down seriously, and it’s mainly because of the rotten TV ads we’re forced to endure. Godin posits that in too many cases, the politicians – or at least, those who actually run their campaigns – don’t want us to vote.
Political advertising, among other things, is designed to suppress the turnout of the opponent’s supporters. If the ads annoy you to the extent that you’re not going to vote for tweedle dumb or tweedle dumber, their strategy has succeeded.
Don’t let the cynics who run political advertising win. Even though you’re disgusted with the negative ads, the nastiness of the campaigns, and the absurdity and lies we’ve been fed for the last two months, take the half-hour (or whatever) and vote. Your vote today sends a lot more messages than you may think, even if you’re “voting against.” Just do it.