To All of My Dearest Friends,

PLEASE DON’T VOTE! I hope you will very carefully consider what I have to say and will choose not to go to the polls this Tuesday. You are just one small person. You won’t make any difference. Politicians don’t care what you think. Why bother voting? It will probably be cold or rainy on Tuesday. I bet there’s some good television; maybe reruns of an ‘80s show that you haven’t seen in a while or a daytime talk show that will bring tears to your eyes with harrowing tales of overcoming adversity. The economy is pretty bad and gas is expensive, so why waste fuel just to go down to your local polling location and push some buttons, pull some levers, or mark some paper. Don’t bother with the hassle of getting up early or rushing over after work. I mean, the lines might be really long. It’s a really big pain. Don’t worry though. Just relax. You don’t count anyway. You won’t change the outcome. Don’t listen to anyone telling you that you matter. They are just silly idealists. They are probably un-American communist, Marxist, terrorists who hate God and go around using drugs and killing babies. That’s what those people are. Don’t listen to them.

I’ll tell you what you should do. Take the day off work, have a warm, relaxing bath, eat a snack, and just chill out on the couch. Let things take their course. Don’t get worried about what these silly stuffed suits say. You don’t really know or care about politics. Only losers pay attention to that stuff. Besides, none of it will affect you. Politicians just do things that affect rich people. Everyone else should just lead their normal lives, worry about the day-to-day, and let people who pay attention to this boring junk work it out. No big deal. It just won’t make any difference, so spend your time doing something better. It will have no impact on people like you.

In fact, I implore you to really consider the damage that could be done if you vote. You could be responsible for the collapse of our whole political system, the destruction of the economy, or maybe even war. If you still think that you want to vote, which I really don’t suggest, don’t let yourself get confused by thinking about all of the issues or all of the many implications of your choice. There’s a whole lot to think about. You can’t make a decision based on one issue. That would be irresponsible. You shouldn’t vote just based on party. How can you make a valid decision? Now you see what I mean? You just don’t know enough and it’s a great burden to make this choice. What if you make the wrong choice? You don’t want to have that shame and guilt hanging over your head.

Oh, I forgot to mention, police always hang out at polling places and they will check to see if you have any warrants out for your arrest or if you owe any money on credit cards. They’ll probably try to collect on debts on the spot or even just haul you in for nothing at all. You probably don’t understand the laws. If you wear the wrong clothing or say the wrong thing, you could get in a whole lot of trouble. You don’t want to get arrested. Leave the situation to those of us with experience and knowledge. I’ll totally make you a deal. Your good buddy Mike here has absolutely got your back. You can leave the decision making to people like me. I most definitely WILL be voting. I am smarter than you and more important, so just leave it to me. It wouldn’t be fair if someone like you had the same amount of say as I do, would it?

I’m really proud of the 30% of you eligible voters who haven’t even bothered to register. What a waste of a stamp. If you register, you’ll probably get jury duty or telemarketing calls or something. Just lay low. There are another 20% of you that are also right there with me. You registered, but you never vote. Right on! You are my people too! The remaining 50% of you are really messing this whole thing up. I mean, right now, 50% of all eligible voters don’t vote. That means my vote counts twice as much as it would if everyone voted. We’ve already established that I’m pretty important and if I could just convince another 25% to stay home, my vote counts four times as much as if everyone voted. I think probably, given my general superiority over most Americans, particularly the poor, the young, the undereducated, and the non-whites, my vote should count several hundred times as much as any of those people. You can help me achieve that goal simply by doing what’s right and staying home on Election Day. This is particularly important if you are not a white, upper-middle-class male.

I’m already pretty lucky in that regard because the people that don’t vote aren’t mostly white, upper-middle-class men like me. Most of us vote. It’s great because that means that politicians mostly only need to worry about our needs in order to get elected. People like me get the full attention we deserve and the politicians don’t get bogged down trying to solve everyone’s problems. That would be way too much to ask of them. Let’s just have them stick to the problems of one group at a time.

So, what would happen if all these young, poor, and non-white people started showing up to vote? I don’t even dare consider such a nightmarish situation. I mean, some of the resources given to me might start being wasted by going toward things like helping make sure that underprivileged people get better education and health care. Who knows? It could get so bad that being a white, upper-middle-class male could provide no real advantage at all. I chose my sex, race, and financial status carefully for the privileges associated with it and I don’t want any of you going and trying to mess that up. I’m sure you all agree that it’s only fair. Generally, like I said, you’ve all been good about not messing this up by voting, but I’m just reminding you.

I really hope that it is very clear to you right now that your decision not to vote is absolutely the right one, whatever the reason. Please spread this message to your friends and family. Please tell people about the dangers of voting and what a waste of time it is. They deserve to know. In the meantime, I will take the great burden of guiding this country upon myself. That’s just how self-sacrificing I am. I should probably get a medal or something, but I will settle for the satisfaction of knowing that I’ve helped convince some of you that voting is absolutely the wrong thing to do. I’ve got a long life of comfort, ease, and privilege ahead of me, and I don’t want anything to go wrong.

Warmest Regards,
Michael Epstein

P.S. Peter Marvit’s regular reminders not to vote in previous elections were an inspiration for this message.

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