Sep 13, 2014 5:34 AM

Conservative Guru Urges Voters to Stay Home

That's Charlie Arlinghaus on the right, watching Bill O'Brien (disgraced former Speaker of the NH House) as he performs the hand jive.

On September 9, the day of the recent primary elections held in NH, Charlie Arlinghaus of the Josiah Bartlett Center for Failed Wingnut Policy Initiatives had an op-ed in the Union Leader. It was titled Don't Apologize for Not Voting, and contained some curious sentiments:

Most of us shouldn’t vote, and when we do we should skip some races. In most parts of the state, there was no earthly reason for Democrats or those leaning that way to bother. None of the big races have primaries, and why bother when you aren’t actually deciding anything?
Even when there are primaries, too many of us inclined to bother casting a ballot are low-information voters. If we had heard any real information, we might have had a preference, but none of the campaigns managed to get us much information. In all probability, we know little about each candidate except how he or she looks and that their opponents believe they have a secret plan to sell the state to the Soviet Union. So, on one level, you really shouldn’t vote. If you don’t actually know enough about two candidates to decide between them, you aren’t making an informed judgment. You should skip that race. Every year I skip races on the ballot when I don’t know enough about the candidates. That or I pick the name that I think sounds the most melodious because that’s the quality we need in a county treasurer.

"Most of us shouldn't vote." Now there's an interesting take on civic participation. As we dig deeper into this piece, the inherent snobbery of the author begins to shine through. He tries to conceal it by writing about "us." Most of "us" are low information voters. Speak for yourself, Charlie. Many of "us" do the work of researching candidates. In fact, many of "us" are actively involved in our local and county governments. Charlie doesn't seem to want "us" to do that work.

I thought all that money in politics meant we'd have MORE information? Is Arlinghaus saying that money really isn't speech? Or is he saying that all of that money has so corrupted the process that voting is now a useless act?

I’ll probably vote in November to move things an inch or two one way or the other. But most of you reading this probably won’t.

That's the heart of this whole piece. Charlie, will vote to move things along - because he's someone who SHOULD vote. The rest of us? We should just stay home.

Charlie Arlinghaus is treated as some sort of a guru by the mainstream NH media, even though he's been shilling the same economic policies that have been failing us since Saint Ronald Reagan was in the White House. Republicans do well when there's low voter turnout. Republicans rely on low information voters to march in party lockstep. Its no wonder we see Arlinghaus urging the "uninformed" (translation: non-Republican) voters to stay home.


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