Over the years, I’ve not often been on the winning side of many races. But this Election Day, I won big.
By not voting.
It was a landslide. Four out of five Californians who are eligible to vote didn’t cast a ballot. North of 80 percent.
(Conventional turnout rates miss the point, since they are percentages based on the 17 million-plus Californians who are registered voters. The more important denominator is 23 million—the number of Californians who are eligible to vote).
I was one of them and proudly so. As a group, we non-voters are much more representative of California as a whole than that sub-population of voters, who are very old and very white.
And we sent a powerful message – that nothing on the ballot was worthy of our time and attention. The roar of this popular verdict should drown out any other claims of a popular mandate. (O, please, term limits “reformers” with your 2.5 million or so votes – our side had 18 million votes on that proposition for “who the hell cares?”).
Heck, even the Republicans should bow down – because we won a supermajority!
What will our victory mean?
Those of us who think California is broken and has a system that needs a total redesign are often told that the people don’t support such changes, that the polling shows people want small, targeted fixes.
The results of this election show such claims about the people are nonsense. Those of us who won’t even bother with the current broken system have made their verdict loud and clear.
The question is whether the pundits, the elites, the politicians of both parties, the good government organizations can recognize this overwhelming popular rejection, and change course.
Or whether they’ll continue to demonize us, the non-voting masses, as bad citizens – or ignore us and keep talking to themselves, and to that small shrinking niche, not much bigger than a club, known as the California voting public.