Someone posted an idiotic article to Twitter (shocker, I know) where 12 young people explain why they likely aren’t voting. The whole thing is simultaneously infuriating and depressing, and while I don’t think there’s anything about them being “young people” that makes these dumb rationales unique, that is the demographic we most need to see turning out. So on the off chance anyone reading this has similar ideas…


But there’s still a lot of powerful people, especially in the Democratic Party, that are centrists, and that’s just a little frustrating when it comes time to stand up to this president and the policies he’s trying to pass.

You’re worried that centrists in the Democratic party won’t stand up to the president, so you’re not going to support them in the face of a GOP that’s fully behind him? That makes no sense. Yeah, there’s plenty of Democrats that I’m not super pumped about, but I’m a hell of a lot more excited about them than anyone who caucuses with the GOP and supports their racist, oligarchical, borderline-fascist regime.

And I hear you, reader, with your “I don’t want to vote for the lesser of two evils”. Knock it off. The choice between a mediocre Democrat and anyone in the GOP isn’t a choice between “two evils” — it’s a choice between evil and “meh”.


We’re all very impressed by your reading list, Reese. Very good.

You just “didn’t know what to do”? Fight fascism. Resist those seeking to dismantle legal protections for your friends and neighbors. Vote out people actively abusing our constitution or abetting that abuse.

You say you like Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton joined the revolution before they even knew what the new government was going to look like.

Step up, buddy.


I once told a co-worker I didn’t vote, and she said, “That’s really irresponsible,” in this judgmental voice.

GOOD. Hell yes it’s irresponsible. You don’t like feeling judged for being irresponsible? Try not being so irresponsible. Your ADHD is not a relevant excuse.


Megan, you tacitly supported a racist, fascist regime because you couldn’t be bothered finding a stamp or walking yourself down to Kinko’s? Nice. You’re in San Francisco, Megan. Yeah, I wish every state’s rules were the same, too, and agree it’s a pain when we have to figure out new states' rules. I just had to do that this year, again. But y'know what? Figure it out, Megan. Because we’re adults, and that’s what adults do.


“Representative Democracy” isn’t about finding someone who matches up 100%. That just isn’t likely to ever happen. Vote for the people who’re closer to your stances. And if you really don’t think there’s a significant difference between the two major parties in terms of potential benefits for millennials, you really need to read up on some policy positions here. The younger you are, the more time you’re going to be impacted by climate change, for example, and one party’s approach to that problem is basically “eh, whatever”.

Also, if you think millennials, like anyone else, are voting more in local elections than national ones, you really need to pay more attention in your PoliSci studies, pal.


I was in college in Massachusetts. I decided that I wasn’t gonna go through that long process for an out-of-state student to register to vote. I had a hectic schedule. I just didn’t have the time and energy.

Good that you’re planning on getting it together by 2020, I guess. By 21, though, you really should’ve been able to get it together this time around.

Get Fox News off your phone; they’re just going to lie to you and rot your brain.


Oh my lord, where to start with this bro?

When he “folded” (ugh), Bernie Sanders backed Clinton because he knew it was both the responsible thing to do, and the best way to get most of what he wanted. You’re all for the personality, but can’t bring yourself to make some compromises to actually achieve anything. Great. That’s friggin' useless, bro. You think you know better than Sanders here?

And no, it isn’t “the same thing on the other side”. Clinton and Sanders ran a (mostly) positive, issues-focused primary. They had differences on economic policy and trade, in particular, at least historically. Trump called Cruz’s wife ugly, supported conspiracy theories about his dad, and the GOP candidates literally stood on stage talking about penis size in the most thinly veiled way possible.

I voted for Sanders in the primary, too. And when he lost, I got behind Clinton 100%, without hesitation. Because when you care about actual issues and the impact they have on actual people, rather than just picking your team, it’s explicitly not about political theater, it’s about trying to get things done.

The Democrats have a middling record on combatting climate change? Yeah, okay, granted, they could be more aggressive about it. But they’re running against a party who, for all appearances, seems happy to watch the world burn (in many cases, quite literally). And I don’t know what article from The Hill you’re talking about, but did it occur to you to check the actual party platform? ‘Cause it’s right there, in big bold letters.

Have we watched the Democrats during your lifetime? Yes, you oblivious dolt, we’ve been watching. Watching as the Obama EPA took concrete steps to defend our environment, which the GOP is rolling back. Watched as the Obama administration and Democratic congress made the most substantial improvement to our healthcare system in your or my lifetime, and as the GOP continues to try to chip away at it or eliminate it entirely. How many examples would you like?

Get over yourself. The role of government is not to make you “excited”. There are real consequences here, to real people. Stop putting some self-serving dopamine rush above the health and security of your actual neighbors.


Good lord. Did Intelligencer just go around trying to find people to fill out “Millennial cliche”? Come on, Anna. Yeah, it’s a pain, and government websites often look like crap. Get over it.


I vote when I feel like I have to. But I mostly consider it something that sucks a lot of people’s time and energy away from actually building power with the people around them.

No, Thomas. Incorrect.

Here’s this other dude you should maybe talk to:

I’ll take the five minutes out of my day to go vote.

See, he says it just takes five minutes. That can’t take much time or energy away from all that other work, can it? And y'know what, Thomas? That’s you! You said that!

Nobody is saying voting is supposed to be the “climax of democracy” except millennials being interviewed for crappy magazine pieces. It’s not the climax, it’s the table stakes. By all means, please go get involved with the tenant organizing scene (are you, Thomas? I’m skeptical). But also take the five minutes out of your day to vote.


You’re right, you shouldn’t have to jump through so many hoops.

Do it anyway.


Yeah, that’s a rough way to learn about politics, and I could see that being off-putting.

But you’re an adult now, Maria. The Church isn’t telling you how you have to vote. I understand not wanting to take hours off work (Election Day really ought to be a federal holiday). Good news! You don’t have to! Two clicks off the very first result for a search for “conway arkansas early voting” I got election information for Faulkner County, where your'e at. They’ve got early voting, already started, and the lines there are almost always way shorter — the prior two general elections I voted in, I voted early and waited for exactly zero people. It’s great! Do that.

Those issues you say you care about? They’re on the ballot this year. Get on it.


There are things things called “search engines” which you can use to get all sorts of interesting information about the candidates, without actually watching the nightly news. Same for the process of actually voting. We have more direct access to information than at any time in human history. This is not a good excuse, Nathan. You feel uninformed? That’s on you, man. And on the off chance you can’t get up to speed on some local election (seems unlikely in San Diego, buddy, but whatever), y'know what? You’re not actually obligated to vote on every office or issue. You can even take the easy way out: go back the party that’s fighting fascists at the state and federal level, and leave the rest blank. It’s kinda half-assed, but it’s better than nothing.

Suffice it to say I did not find any of these excuses compelling. As John Scalzi put it:

Hey, kids, you know who’s not coming up with artisanal, handcrafted reasons for why they’re not going to vote? The fucking fascists, that’s who.

Yes, there’s lots of imperfect candidates, and the process is more of a pain than it should be. Yes, I’d love a more progressive viable option, too. Yes, I was really disheartened by 2016.

Suck it up. Get yourself together and go vote.