Sitting out the Trump election

In this awful Trump election year, Republicans are announcing that they won’t vote for him; and of course, most of them add, they couldn’t possibly vote for Hillary either. The latest is Miami mayor Tomás Regalado. Today the New York Times reports that Regalado says he’s going to sit this one out.

The idea of sitting out an election gives another illustration of the strange disconnect between the mathematics and the psychology of voting. Mathematically, for a Republican to not vote for anybody has exactly the same effect as voting for Hillary, except with half the magnitude. Who would want their vote to be cut in half? But the human truth of voting has little to do with the mathematics. We all construct personal narratives of how we will or won’t vote, and out of millions of narratives, somehow or other, a president is elected.

[31 May 2016]

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