I Registered to Vote

After decades of never voting in any election, I finally registered to vote for the first time ever.

My registration is nonpartisan. I’m not a member of any political party.

Some would say that I should have remedied this long ago. Why did I wait so long?

Partly I’ve been stuck with an old frame that I adopted when I was much younger, a frame that hasn’t aged very well.

While I was growing up, my parents belonged to opposite political parties, so their votes would cancel each other out, which made voting seem extra pointless.

This first presidential election I could vote in was 1992. I was 21 and in college, majoring in computer science and math. My dominant frame was mathematical. I concluded that one vote makes virtually no statistical difference, so it wasn’t even worth the time.

As I got older, my framing evolved but never in a way that made me want to get into voting. The issues I tend to care about most deeply don’t rise to the top in political circles, like anything related to veganism. No election has excited me. When the choices were blah or blah, I didn’t find it particularly motivating to get involved.

In recent years I didn’t frame myself as “not voting” in the broader sense. I vote with every blog post. I create change differently (and more powerfully IMO) than at the ballot box.

In comparison to other ways I express myself, voting has felt like a powerless act to me. I’ve long seen voting as a weak form of expression or protest, not even worth the effort.

This time it does feel different due to the clarity of just how horrendously bad one of the choices is and how unfathomably bad it would be to endure another term of Idiocracy.

This may sound a little ridiculous, but one reason I want to vote is that the idiot currently in office doesn’t want me to. And somehow that just makes it feel extra good to do the opposite. That’s an invitation I can’t resist.

I accept the invitation. I intend to shove my vote down his throat, so he can choke on it. I think that’s fair, given the tens of thousands of people who’ve choked to death because they couldn’t breathe, thanks to his incompetence and cruelty.

This isn’t a political act. It’s entirely personal.

I invite you to join me.


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Steve Pavlina

Steve Pavlina is an American self-help author, motivational speaker and entrepreneur. He is the author of the web site stevepavlina.com and the book Personal Development for Smart People.

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