Why people vote like fucking idiots

Voting Behaviour
Voting Behaviour

As a person who is slightly obsessed with politics, it’s hard to remember the old me, the child me, who didn’t care about it at all. The old me could probably have understood why somebody might vote based on a vague notion, of liking a person’s haircut or the way they talk, or based on a familiy tradition, or a dumb reason like my favourite colour or for somebody because they live in my town.

But still, even then, why would a turkey vote for Christmas? I can only assume it is because they don’t like being told that they are voting for Christmas, and want to do it just out of spite, to show that they can make their own choice. The outcome, or consequence, of that choice is almost irrelevant: The point is to defy logic itself, to throw a grenade of anti-logic into the mix just because.

Just because. Just because. Just because. Nope, I don’t like that. I’m going to have to expand on it. Just because of refusal to engage. Just because of poor education. Just because of real despair and false hope combined. Just because of wanting to hurt somebody because you yourself are hurting. Just because you need something or somebody to blame for your low income, your crime ridden streets, or your gloomy prospects.

In the midst of your life’s problems, an apparently trustworthy person has placed their clammy hand on your shoulder, pointed at some ‘Others’ and whispered to you: “It is their fault. So vote against them.”

Or the worst reason of all, voting like a fucking idiot simply because your life is great and you don’t care about anyone else whose life is made awful by your choice, so long as your life remains great. (Hint: That’s Conservatism!)

They don't understand the alternate reality they have unleashed.

Brexit was all of this and more. Even now, as damage piles up around us, as businesses fold and livelihoods are ruined, there are still those who are proud of voting to leave the EU, sensing they somehow empowered themselves, defied a system, stood up against something, put a spanner in the works of ‘The Establishment’. Except they don’t understand the alternate reality they have unleashed; one that is far, far worse than the reality we could have improved from within.

It is all so tragically misguided though. Because sooner or later, the regret will come. And there will be nobody else to blame. Financial/personal breakdown will be merely a sandwich filling between thick slices of guilt.

I think the stupidest voting choices will continue though, until it is recognised that politics is important, until it becomes a core subject in schools, just like maths or English. Young people must grow up with understanding of why their votes matter, and the ramifications that voting behviour can have upon their entire lives.

Education is the cure.

Education is the cure, but the only people who can make that happen are those whose interests it goes against; rather like farmers teaching their turkeys about the slaughter process and showing them the weakest parts of the enclosure fencing.

Imagine if you could do that: make turkeys finally understand why they are raised, bred, fed and fattened. How would they react?

One thought on “Why people vote like fucking idiots

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