Voting is crucial. It is not crucial because democracy is great (it isn’t); it is not crucial because “you’re making a difference”; it is not crucial because people have died for our right to vote. Voting is crucial because if you want to be an important, dependable member of your community, you must vote in every election.
How does voting make you important? Let’s say you have a problem with your mother’s neighbor. He’s an asshole who leaves his yard in shambles and allows his trees and bushes to overgrow over and through her chain-link fence. You’ve asked him politely to trim the overgrowth, but he doesn’t care and it never gets done. Your mother is within her right to trim the overgrowth, but she is elderly and can’t do it. Now, let’s assume you don’t have the tools to do it yourself, or on principle, you refuse to do it. Plus, you know that a few years later, it will just grow back. What do you do?
If you’re the kind of guy who never votes, when you file a complaint, it gets ignored or thrown on the backburner. Your local politicians have more important issues (and people) to do deal with. But how do they know you never vote? Where I live, there are books listing every registered voter in the area. When you vote, your name must be in the book and you must sign it. They can check who votes and how often (primary elections, general elections, and presidential elections). If you never vote, you’re not considered important or dependable.
But let’s assume you vote in every single election and have done so for years. So long as you’re registered with the correct party (varies depending on your area), someone in the local government can apply pressure to your neighbor. Maybe code enforcement show up at his house, or maybe he gets fined. If you have a lot of political pull, town maintenance may show up and trim it themselves. They’re not supposed to, but they do anyway.
Local politics is like all politics: it’s a dirty game. I would never tell anyone to break the law, but there is nothing wrong with working the system. Should it be this way? No, but it is, and we must use it to our advantage.
More than just voting is being registered with the correct party. If your town is Republican, register Republican. If your town is Democrat – however much it may hurt – register Democrat. Both parties suck, but it’s not about principle; it’s about pull. The more pull you have, the more power you can exert.
I think the best path forward for us is in the Republican Party, but it may vary for your area. Remember: in the voting booth, no one can see your votes. Even if you’re a registered Democrat, you can vote for people who aren’t socialist idiots or minority-pandering lunatics.
Additionally, if your local party organization hands out yard signs, ask for some and put them outside. It visibly demonstrates that you’re a dependable team player, and maybe code enforcement will turn a blind eye to the new fence you put out front, the one you never got a permit for.
There will come a time when you must vote because men like us will be on the ballot. I look forward to those days, and they will come sooner than you might think. But for now, vote because you need to establish yourself.
This advice may not work everywhere, and I have no idea how local politics in other countries works, but where I live, it’s a smart idea to be a team player.
Speaking of team players, become one. Vote with your dollars, ya bastards.