Voting: Stating We Care to Belong
November 5, 2012 1 Comment
After the elimination of the military draft in the U.S., voting is one of the few acts that binds us a community – especially at the national and state levels.
Voting is a statement that we care to belong.
Leaders elected by votes of a small minority of the group understand that they may have minimal support for their actions and govern accordingly. Rival groups may sense that weakness and act accordingly.
John Lennon asked us to “imagine” a world without nations, religion or any reason to fight and die. Could such a world have any groups or even families? I suspect not. It would quickly die out.
Establishing and maintaining a moral social order typically involves acts that puzzle rationalists – belief systems for religions, hazing/indoctrination rituals for fraternity/sororities, sports, etc. The trick is finding healthy ways to bind groups without accepting bullying authoritarianism or demonizing other groups. Voting is one way.
Steve Waldman at Interfluidity has a rationalist take on “Why Vote” that motivated this post.
Jon Haidt’s book “The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion” makes a similar argument about group binding with Lennon’s “Imagine.” I’m planning to review the book and Haidt’s “Moral Foundations Theory” in the near future. His work influenced this post.