Bill Maher responds — sarcastically but mostly seriously — to the notion that not voting is somehow a commendable way of expressing a wish for better candidates. (Superfluous warning: Clip contains cable TV language.)
Updated: The original link I had here longer works, but this one does (though it has technical problems):
I don’t by any means always agree with Bill Maher, but here he’s pretty much right. Anyone who thinks not voting will “send a message” and make the System cough up better candidates is delusional. For one thing, we have one political party that’s actively trying to reduce turnout. Giving them what they want isn’t going to make them change their ways. For another, just where are these better candidates? In hiding? In captivity? I admit this is a sad thought, but what if the candidates we have are pretty much the best available that stand any real chance of getting elected? Look over the list of U.S. presidents. There aren’t so many Washingtons or Lincolns or Roosevelts.
And look at other countries, especially if you think the problem is our two-party system. There don’t seem to be all that many great examples out there.
An old friend of mine liked to say that the problem with voting for the lesser evil was you still got evil. Alas, that’s true. But not voting for the lesser evil doesn’t magically get you not-evil. It just makes it that much more likely that you’ll get the greater evil.