Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I won't be voting this year

As a dual US-Israeli citizen, I usually make it a point to cast my ballot in the American elections. It's my legal right and (arguably) civic obligation, so long as I retain the rights and obligations of an American citizen.

But this year I don't plan to vote.

A Zionist epiphany? A bout of political disillusionment? Dissatisfaction with the choice of candidates?

No, none of that. I retain my Republican sympathies and, with all his flaws, I'd like to see McCain move in to the White House next January.

But I can't work up the motivation to go out of my way to engage in a meaningless gesture.

As an overseas resident, I cast my vote in the state of my last legal residence. As it happens, it's about as left-leaning as a state can be without being in Europe. It hasn't voted for a Republican candidate for president since 1988. If it were even conceivable that it would break Republican, it could happen only if (as in 1988) the Republican candidate were so far ahead nationally that it wouldn't matter anyway.

Which means my lonely absentee ballot would be about as influential as Hillary's roll call vote, but without the symbolic significance.

If I were visiting the old hometown anyway, I'd stop by the polling center to cast my vote. No big deal.

But to have to fill out an absentee ballot request, post it at my expense overseas, wait expectantly for the ballot, seal it in the requisite number of envelopes and signatures and attach another round of airmail stamps - just to cast a vote which won't change a thing? Not this time.

Maybe next time there will at least be a close race for Congress. Otherwise, I'm sorry I didn't live in Pennsylvania or Florida.


Cosmic X said...

I won't be voting either. I haven't voted in US elections since I moved here.

What's more I really do not feel informed enough to make an intelligent decision. My gut feeling is that McCain is a better candidate, but that is only a feeling. Obama looks like a lot of hype with very little substance. Shev ve al ta'ase adif.

Jack said...

Look who posted a new entry.

Zman Biur said...

Shev ve al ta'ase adif.

Now that's a good bumper sticker! Or a blog name.