I almost never watch cable news, but I did last night in order to catch the election returns. As the pundits' jaws flapped I kept noticing how they were trying to parse the "public mood" with this vote. These pundits have one big problem: they're focusing on the voters.
What about the people who didn't vote? Not only do they outnumber the number of Republican and Democratic voters, they outnumbered all voters period. This means that yet again, the Didn't Vote Party swept the midterms. It amazes me that elections which will determine all kinds of policy and will have a profound effect (especially on the state level) on so many people saw much fewer than half the voters show up.
This is what the commentariat ought to be discussing. These are the people, not the voters, who ought to be polled, since they are the dominant group. Why don't they vote? It should be a simple answer, but I am willing to bet that it's actually multi-faceted in nature. Do they just not care? Is disillusionment part of that? Is politics so nasty and godawful that so few want to take part? Are they just apathetic numbskulls who can't be pulled away from cat videos and reality TV?
We ought to know, since our nation's voter turnout numbers are an embarrassment. We lag behind dozens of other nations, so here is a case where America is truly an exceptional nation. If we were a real democracy, and not a sham one, the last election would have been invalid because so few people bothered to vote.
I must say, it took a lot of effort to get to the polls, since my enthusiasm for the election was so low. It's hard to blame people for not showing up, except for the fact that their apathy keeps our broken, corrupt, crappy system in power.