Dear young people, "Don't vote." Sincerely, old white people

It seems to me that your original statements were very clear - some people aren’t voting, and you believe those people have shirked a fundamental civic duty, an ethical necessity (although you harbor no ill will towards those prevented from voting), and categorizing old people as being the source of our political problems is agism and blame-shifting.

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Your experience is not everyone’s.


No one said that… we’re discuss the issue of ongoing voter suppression, because there are people here who refuse to understand how much of an impact it makes on voters today, especially after the gutting of the voting rights act.


Not all people who don’t vote are lazy. “Lazy teenagers” is just as much of a stereotype as “angry old white dudes.” If you look at the comments many of us have made, it’s in pointing out that the active campaign of voter supression has led to many people not being able to vote or genuinely fearing about voting, because there is a long history of violence aimed at disenfranchised minorities trying to vote.


I read through this thread and pondered…to comment or not to comment.

Point blank…voting is a right in this country for all citizens. I think @Melz2 puts in perfectly in stating the government and powers that be should be doing everything in their power to make voting as easy as possible for all people. While we can debate hours on end how to accomplish that, the point is true and spot on and not debatable.

Additional points made by too many to call out are that those said same powers that be have enabled voter disenfranchisement to a sickening degree to hold on to their own power base. Whether through gerrymandering, voting law changes, or voter suppression…the means are irrelevant, the outcome is the same. Make it difficult for those that would vote them out to vote at all.

This statement right here is at the very heart of the issue for a large part of the thread:

Stating an absolute “no legitimate excuse” while then placing your own stipulation/limitation-“if you are physically and mentally able”-on the absolute is disingenuous at best.

It is not up to you to decide what is or isn’t a legitimate excuse or reason someone is unable to vote. And as it has been said I will reiterate in no uncertain terms…one old white guy to another…JUST BECAUSE IT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE DOESN’T MAKE IT EVERYONE’S EXPERIENCE. That is complete and utter bullshit and when @Mindysan33 points out you speaking with privilege…that is exactly where it is lying. My strong suggestion…again one old white guy to another…stop talking and listen. Instead of telling someone else “you have no excuse” listen to their reasoning first.

Show some empathy. Have some compassion. Judge less, understand more.


Note the grey and purple states:

They don’t permit pre-poll postal voting unless you can convince them that you require it for what they see as a valid reason. Exact requirements vary widely, as does the level of bureaucratic hassle involved in satisfying those requirements.


Well, if they weren’t so lazy, they’d spend all their time getting the laws changed, right? I mean, it’s really their OWN fault that the way election laws are made are entirely outside of their control! /s


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Case in point:


Of course not, which is why I asked for sources on the prevalence of the issue. I even later conceded one can come up with scenarios of multiple jobs or public transportation that makes it even more difficult. But the assertion that there is a prevalent issue with employers actively working to prevent you from voting, up to and including firing because of missed work, is rather extraordinary. I’d like something to back up that assertion. One could assert many companies want their employees to vote, as they actively push propaganda about voting in ways to favor them (i.e. the recent “Right to Work” vote in Missouri.)

Note this is separate from other voter suppression issues such as Voter ID laws and Gerrymandering, which I agree are issues.

I posted one and there was a BB article on the other. This is a real world, ongoing issue.


I think we can post examples of disenfranchisement all day long, but the fact is, across the country and the various flavors of franchise that we have, young people turn out less than other cohorts. There’s a couple basic explanations for this that don’t involve pointing fingers:

  • young people are more likely to live transient lives
  • young people have fewer concrete investments, like property or careers
  • young people are less likely to have kids who are dependent on public institutions

With less concrete at stake, voting seems less important. Of course, there’s all sorts of more abstract stuff at stake all the time, and we shouldn’t wait years until these abstractions become more concrete for everybody–we should mandate voting as a matter of course. Making voting mandatory would short-circuit the current dialogue around voting that is readily hijacked by whatever asshat decides to declare that most people are too stupid to vote. You’re not too stupid to vote

This discussion kind of feels like a circular firing squad. It’s great that people have such emotion and enthusiasm for the topic of getting out the vote. But infighting is counterproductive. It would be more helpful if we were all shooting in the same direction, at the enemy instead of each other—the enemy being all the reasons people don’t vote.

“Can’t we all just get along?” —King. :wink:

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In other words, you want people who keep bringing up uncomfortable facts about our democracy to shut up. Not actually very helpful.

And even King recognized that sometimes, white liberals telling the movement to wait, be more patient, be more polite ask more nicely, don’t scare people, etc, etc, was a MAJOR part of the problem in America. So was it and so shall it ever be.


Fuck no.

~ Reginald Denny.
  1. not exactly
  2. try another King

The answer is still a resounding NO.

Only some of us can ‘get along’ with one another, and only then if we work at it consistently.


The point still stands that quelling dissent because it makes some (white people) uncomfortable is a tactic used to maintain white supremacy. The point that Dr. King make is STILL relevant today.

Voter suppression is a MAJOR ongoing problem, especially in communities of color. Given the nature of the current administration, which is throwing children into concentration camp for being the wrong color and born on the wrong side of an imaginary line, which has accused undocumented immigrants for “stealing” the popular vote, who calls the press the enemy of the “people”, that regularly spins up larger crowds on obvious lies, not to mention other GOP operatives (Brian Kemp), who are clearly seeking to win even if they can’t get a majority by earning it with policies that people can get on board with, this is not something to ignore, shrug off or wait to point out. That’s how we end up with authoritarian rule. As Upton Sinclair noted way back in the 30s, it CAN happen here.


I’m not sure why you’re directing this to me. I’m on your side. My point was intended to be that we need to address all the reasons people can’t vote, and not blame people for not overcoming their obstacles, but help move those obstacles.

The Rodney King reference was an attempt at humor. Sorry if it was too subtle not obvious.


EDIT: Bad word choice. Snark not intended.