Todd Lyden



SocMed/App Enthusiast

Monday, November 1, 2010

How NOT to Get Out the Vote

Seth Godin tries to make an emotional appeal for voting this week in the run up to the election. And honestly, I can't be sure if he is mocking people for voting or sincere in his effort to get out the vote.
Godin blames the lack of voter turnout in mid-term election years on TV advertising. He suggests that it is only designed to suppress opposition voters. And then proceeds to blame the electorate for not figuring this out.
The only thing that he really gets right is that the voters have "permitted selfish partisans on both sides to hijack the system."
He highlights that both sides have gotten more and more flaky and that the campaigns are more and more nasty. Perhaps Godin needs reminding on American political history but it has been this way from the beginning. The second we had an entrenched two-party system here, we were stuck with this melodrama. 
His emotional appeal at the end is just like every other pitch you have heard. 
"Even if you are disgusted, vote." That's the pitch? "Voting is free." Sorry sir, but you do the cost-benefit analysis like most people have and you can easily understand why people don't care.
The most interesting part of his pitch? He gets half of this right:
"It doesn't make you responsible for the outcome, but it sure has an impact on what we have to live with going forward."
Wow, is that the definition of an action you are fairly guaranteed NOT to take part in? If you feel no responsibility for the outcome, why would you bother? Yet, it somehow is going to have an impact? That, my friends, is the real problem.
Elections in the United States are ALWAYS a flip of the coin. Right to vote or not, our choices are beyond limited. The impact was moot from the beginning. 
The only thing that Godin got right and something we should give REAL consideration to:
"The only thing that would make it better is free snacks."
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