Troll all you want, I am right.
Sure there may be more registered Republicans than Democrats in Texas. But they are BOTH a minority. Look at this national survey from Gallup: Democratic, Republican Identification near all-time lows.
People Who are NOT Team Red or Team Blue are the clear Majority. But they vote far less.
How can that be true? Texas seems like a very Red state.
Easy. Most people don’t vote.
In Texas, the highest percentage of Voting Age Turnout in any recent election or primary is 45% (Source: Texas Secretary of State)
But the “not voting” is done more by independents than by partisans. People deep into Team Red and Team Blue are far more likely to vote in primaries and in actual elections than someone who “Doesn’t have a dog in this fight”.
So why don’t they vote?
This is my theory:
- We have stuff to do!
Work, soccer practices, cleaning up around the house, cooking, laundry, so much laundry, car maintenance, social commitments, church, movies, binge-watching Game of Thrones, Cowboy’s regular season games, etc. All that takes time.
Compare that to what it takes to be an informed involved partisan voter. Registering, keeping your address up to date, going to candidate forums, reading position papers, maybe volunteering, committee meetings, going door to door, phone banking, and all sorts of other stuff that sounds a lot like the worst and longest PTO meeting ever, and is for sure WAAAY more boring than Kalesi riding a freaking dragon.
2. Typically there is not much difference between Team Red and Team Blue.
Sure, sure your team is SOO much better than the other team. But by and large, you all support largely the same globalist, corporatists, neo-liberal worldview. Here is a super-partisan take on it from a Libertarian : ( There is almost no difference between Republicans and Democrats)
Obviously, that author is highlighting the things they offer real contrast on. But the point that there is a ton of significant overlap means that by and large, I can spend my days focusing on other things and avoiding PTO meeting simulations.
3. Your vote won’t matter anyway.
Add on top of that that in most places the numbers are not all that close for elections. Why bother to go vote blue if you are in red state Texas? Same for any place other than a handful of “swing states”
Add all that up, your vote won’t swing the election from one party to the other, even if it did there is no material difference between the two, and even if there was it is a lot of time and effort to get really involved and partisan and you see why independents sit out elections.
What would it take to get the independents to vote?
Well here is the bad news for team red.
The independents will only turn off the GOT if you really screw things up.
We don’t ask for a lot but it goes something like this:
- Don’t screw up the economy. This should be obvious, but as long as the economy is generally humming along, I am getting raises, and there seems like my kids will have a bright, non-slavery, non-dead-end future, you are probably clearing the “it’s the economy stupid” test.
- Be basically competent at your job. You don’t have to be the best in the world, but top 50% of job applicants, top 75% would be nice. But don’t hire people who have no experience and no idea how to actually do the job they are hired for.
- You can be partisan, but don’t be crooked. We know you have favors to pay back. And a little grift here and there we can overlook. but don’t raid the government, give away large sums of money to your donors while passing the bill on to me. And for goodness sake don’t be brazen about it. If someone in your party is clearly breaking the rules, don’t be OBVIOUS that you are giving them a buddy pass on it.
- Don’t be a personal embarrassment. Everyone has an idea of what people in certain roles should dress like and act like. That is a bit nebulous, but for sure everyone has a standard for “act presidential”.
I could make a case for a few more general rules. But I think those are pretty good.
Independent Rules for both parties: Basically be someone that is boring and safe to ignore and we will let you play your Team Red vs Team Blue games.
It is like if my kids are upstairs playing. There is a certain amount of rowdiness that I will let slide. But at the point something sounds like it just broke, I am going to go upstairs and turn into the “fun police”.
But what about the Blue Wave?
It is an illusion.
Just like the Reagan Democrats never existed.
Just like the Clinton Republicans never existed.
People in the early 80’s said: “you know this stagflation and lines for gas suck, it is time to turn off Battlestar Galactica and Dallas and vote for whoever else is there.”
People in the early 90’s said: “you know what we have not seen any growth in the last 3-4 years, we are going to turn off Seinfeld, and Friends and give the other guys a chance.”
What exists is a large majority of people who get pissed off if you break the economy, and will go upstairs and turn into the “fun police” if you suck at your job.
At this point, after another special election loss for Team Red, it seems like the adults in the room have hit pause on their Apple TV and are walking up the stairs.