The Convenience of Political Apathy

political-apathy-cat-beer-remoteI don’t usually talk politics with people. Not because I don’t want to, but because usually they don’t want to. Finding another human being interested in discussing politics on a philosophical level is kind of like finding another person that’s into some specific kinky sex thing. You don’t want to ask because in so doing you reveal something quite personal about yourself which may affect your casual friendly acquaintance.

However, even given that complex conversation dynamics, I have noticed that the most popular position among the people I talk to is apathy (lack of interest). Somehow, that’s viewed as the higher ground. The claim that it doesn’t matter who wins an election is somehow viewed as a fundamental truth which one arrives at after years of study and rigorous discourse.

I disagree. You may say that both McCain and Obama would’ve kept us in Iraq and Afghanistan, would’ve increased the debt, etc. There is some truth to that point, but it does not logically lead to apathy as the right worldview, in the age of huge armies, of nuclear weapons, of enormously complex financial systems, etc.

The swarm of seemingly small consequences of actions, policies, speeches, public relations campaigns can make the difference between a decade of economic growth and a decade of economic decline, a major scientific revolution or an nationwide drought in research efforts, etc.

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