What do you consider to be the most significant political bloc in the US? Conservatives? Liberals? Democrats? Independents? Republicans? What do you consider to be the largest single definable bloc? The most constant, both in size and durability?
I didn't list it but the largest bloc is always the non-voting, non-participating bloc. Since 1980 (and much further back, if one cares) the non-participating bloc has averaged 45% of the VEP (voting eligible population) in Presidential election years and 60% in the Congressional/State/Local election years. There have been occasional studies of this bloc from time to time but I have read none which are particularly insightful. The reason for the lack of insight may be that non-voters tend to be non-responders as well. It's difficult to accurately survey a group unwilling (in many cases unable) to answer questions. I surmise that antipathy (no one listens to me), ignorance and sloth account for the motivations of the overwhelming majority of those choosing not to participate. If that surmise is true, then we should be eternally grateful that voting is not mandatory for the ignorant and slothful who, if forced to vote, will vote themselves a larger share of the treasury whenever possible.
As to the antipathetic, the second largest turnout within the VEP occurred in '92 (surpassed only by the extraordinary turnout generated last year through intensive effort by both campaigns). Perot's demagogic performance elicited a very positive response in terms of turnout but the value of the final outcome is questionable. That outcome should raise serious questions among those who favor higher participation at the polls. It should also give some pause to those who think that a third party is necessary or desirable. 'New' parties (in the past hundred years) have tended to arise either around men with 'new' ideas or around 'new' ideas which have drawn the most ruthless men in history to try and impose said novel idea at any cost and by any means.
Let us celebrate the antipathy, ignorance and sloth of the largest single political bloc. It has proven a blessing to the Republic in the past and if its membership finds happiness in apathy, who are we to disparage them?
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