Hold It! Don't Get Out the Vote

THE DEAFENING CHORUS HAS BEGUN: REGISTER AND Vote. It's the essence of our ! freedom. It's your civic duty. If you don't vote, you're lazy, ignorant, apathetic, damn near a traitor. This message, shrieked every four years, has not been persuasive. The percentage of eligible voters who go to the polls keeps dropping toward the 50% mark. But the result is greater hysteria.

A better response would be to shut up. Driving reluctant citizens to the polls out of some vague sense of guilt is no accomplishment; they would cast ignorant ballots, impelled by emotion or bias, that would further lower...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!