The Ten Most Enraging Parts of NYMag's "Young People Who Aren't Voting" Column

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The Ten Most Enraging Parts of NYMag's "Young People Who Aren't Voting" Column

New York ran a piece yesterday titled “12 Young People on Why They Probably Won’t Vote,” and the best description I heard for it was “hateclick porn.” There are a few smart-ish sounding, activist-type youngsters in the article making great points about the failure of our two-party system, but on the whole it is completely enraging…especially when you consider that if even 56 percent of Millennials voted, the Democrats would control both chambers of Congress. And while it looks like we might get historic turnout among America’s youth, it’s likely to be well below that threshold, and nowhere near the crazy-high turnout numbers we see every year among boomers and senior citizens.

All of which is to say that young people choosing not to vote is a big deal, and the justifications in the New York story are particularly infuriating. Am I giving in to the anti-Millennial craze by rising to the bait? Probably yes. Am I subtly undermining the good work that young people are doing, and the renewed political vigor sweeping our country? I hope not. But I’m so mad, and I can’t resist highlighting the worst of the worst in a countdown that, frankly, will not make you feel any better about the state of our country. Let’s hate on some youth!

10. “Informed nonvoters” are…good?

Look at this shit:

I think there’s a way to be an informed nonvoter. I’d rather have an informed nonvoter than an uninformed voter going in and making a choice they don’t understand. You’re voting for a politician going into office, and I’m seeing less change there than I am through grassroots organizing. Since Trump’s been elected, those grassroots groups have really been doing great, great work. So I guess it’s that: where you’re seeing the impact.


And guess what? All those “uninformed voters” from older generations—many of whom are content to watch the planet die and deprive you of any economic opportunity—absolutely love that you’re not voting.

The worst part of this is that you can tell from the language that she’s not doing a lick of grassroots organizing either.

9. What if I pick wrong?

Look at this shit:

I never felt certain enough to vote. But I’m a political-science student, and the talk of voting is really big in my circle of friends. In 2016, I almost did. Of course, I’m not a big fan of Trump, but I didn’t know if Trump was going to be a flash in the pan or — I just didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to help something that might end up being wrong.

“I’m a political science student, but I don’t understand that not voting has a direct positive benefit for the greater of two evils.”

The idea that you could actually study this stuff as part of your education and still lack a strong opinion about the American political scene makes me want to punch a wall.

For the record, this is the same person who had his eyes opened politically by Machiavelli’s The Prince. Somebody’s going to give him Atlas Shrugged one day, and within like ten minutes he’ll be a Trump diehard.

8. The embodiment of Both-Sides vapidity

Look at this shit:

Then I Googled “Republican versus Democrat,” and I like kinda both, kinda not. That’s why I’m an Independent.

Sooooo deep! She’s going to have an op-ed column in the Times by the end of the month. I have to highlight the rest of her entry too, just because it’s such a wild, incoherent mess. Keep in mind while you read that this is someone who is probably not voting in the midterms:

It wasn’t till the Trump-versus-Hillary election that I realized how important it is to vote. Maybe it had to do with, like, society and all. Everyone I was following was like, “Go out to vote.” I was in college in Massachusetts. I decided that I wasn’t gonna go through that long process for an out-of-state student to register to vote. I had a hectic schedule. I just didn’t have the time and energy. Also I didn’t know how my parents would feel about that whole thing, ’cause my brother does not vote either. So it wasn’t asked if they could help us out with the registration and mailing all the forms to us. My mom is a Republican, my dad is a Democrat, and I did not learn that until the 2016 election, after begging them to tell me at least what their party was. I realized that I should’ve voted afterward. Ever since that election, I started turning on not just CNN but also Fox News on the iPhone news app. I plan to vote in 2020. I have a goal set to know more about politics by that time.

Kill me. I mean it. My name is Shane Ryan and I live in North Carolina. Find me and kill me.

7. The bad people turned me off

Look at this shit:

Growing up, going to Catholic school, everything we learned had a skew on it. Whenever we were taught about voting or political issues, it was not about learning the issues and matching what you feel personally, it was, “This is what the Catholic Church teaches, and this is how you should vote or you’re wrong.” I think that shaped me to hate politics and not want to be involved.

Conservative forces LOVE IT when someone who may have even vaguely liberal impulses doesn’t participate. Congratulations on playing into their hands.

6. It’s so confusing!

Look at this shit:

You’re not prepared for all the candidates. You’re sent things in the mail, but as a 28-year-old, I read everything online. I love that literally everyone is promoting actually registering to vote, but it’s never how to vote or the steps to voting or what you do next after you’ve registered to vote. After that, it kind of just drops off and you’re left in the dark, like, I don’t know what to do next, you know?

There are almost literally thousands of online guides about how, where, and when to vote. No matter where you live in America, you can find this information inside of like, fifteen seconds, using a simple Google search. There’s more. I hate to do it, but there’s more.

It’s a wild theory, but setting voting up so that it’s all on social media, putting all that information in just an Instagram Story, in a Snapchat filter or whatever — bulleted-out, easy-to-read, digestible content — would encourage me to vote. Just maybe it’s a social-media page or an Instagram page where it gives daily facts about how to do things or DIYs on how to vote for yourself, something like that.

That stuff all exists. All of it. Your “wild theory” is real life. Wake the $*$&## up.

5. I lost once, so count me out

Look at this shit:

2016 was such a disillusioning experience. Going into the election, I was so proud to be in this country at this moment, so proud to be voting for Hillary Clinton. I had my Clinton sweatshirt on all day. I was on Twitter telling people that if they didn’t vote they were dead to me — like the whole thing. Watching the results come in, it was just disheartening. My faith in the whole system was crushed pretty quickly. That was the first general election I could vote in, too.

2016 sucked, no doubt. But if watching that election and everything that’s happened since has made you less inclined to vote, you’re the definition of a privileged American. Worse, you can’t be bothered to step out of your privilege bubble to vote—again, the absolute bare minimum—for people who have a lot to lose.

Later, from this same person:

Full disclosure: I have a ballot sitting at home.

Got the ballot right there. Just gotta fill it out and send it off. But she won’t do it, because she wore that damn Hillary Clinton sweatshirt all day and the bad guy still won!

4. It’s so hard to be lazy

Look at this shit:

I rent and move around quite a bit, and when I try to get absentee ballots, they need me to print out a form and mail it to them no more than 30 days before the election but also no less than seven days before the election. Typically, I check way before that time, then forget to check again, or just say “Fuck it” because I don’t own a printer or stamps anyway. It’s incredibly difficult for hourly workers or young people who are in rotational programs or travel frequently for their careers to vote. I wish every state’s rules were the same so there was not so much confusion and it was easy to find straightforward information on how exactly to get absentee ballots.

I hate this so much, because on one hand it’s trying to make a political point about the difficulty of voting in America—which is a valid point! It should be easier!—but then gets into the truth, which is that she knows exactly how to do it, but doesn’t care enough. There are people all over this country—most of them poor, most of the minorities—who are being disenfranchised purposefully by Republicans, and others who wait in line for hours for the privilege of voting, and this person can’t be bothered because it’s too hard to find a stamp.

3. Coddle me, please.

Look at this shit:

I once told a co-worker I didn’t vote, and she said, “That’s really irresponsible,” in this judgmental voice. You can’t build a policy around calling people irresponsible. You need to make people enthusiastic and engaged.

Honestly? Screw you. If you need to be handled with kid gloves by everybody around you before you can be bothered to do the absolute minimum to preserve democracy, then you suck. Yes, it’s important to engage people, and maybe the co-worker could have had a better reaction, but this absolute baby is justifying his laziness because he had his feelings hurt. Shoot him out of a cannon.

2. I care passionately about issues, I swear

Look at this shit:

The idea of leaving work, forwarding all of my calls to my phone, to go stand in line for four hours, to probably get called back to work before I even get halfway through the line, sounds terrible. I would have to tell work, “Hey, I’m not coming in until noon today,” and in the end, if it’s not something I’m extremely passionate about, do I want to spend four hours of vacation doing something I don’t quite want to do?

There are issues I care about: immigration, access to health care. Women’s reproductive rights is a big one — because I could never imagine taking away anyone else’s choice.

Here’s a crazy thought, though—can you imagine someone else taking away a woman’s choice? And you can imagine them dancing a joyous little jig when they find out that you care about these issues, but you don’t vote? Is that something you can imagine?


(takes long, deep breaths)


By the way, this person is from Arkansas, where there’s like two weeks of early voting.

1. The psychological terror of the U.S. Postal Service

Look at this shit:

I tried to register for the 2016 election, but it was beyond the deadline by the time I tried to do it. I hate mailing stuff; it gives me anxiety.

Woman whose toddler is traumatized for life because ICE held him in a cage for three months: I would really appreciate your vote.

This guy: Sorry, but I’m terrified of the postal service.

I hate this person. I hate them all. Donald Trump is going to be president for the next 1,000 years.

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