I always vote and plan to keep voting until the Republicans find a way to stop me. It’s not that I think my single vote will make a difference. It’s almost guaranteed not to. But voting is a ritual of democracy – something we do to participate in and demonstrate our support for our (ailing) system of government. Even though it’s very likely a waste of time.
A ritual “is a sequence of activities involving gestures, words, and objects, performed in a sequestered place, and performed according to set sequence”. Rituals may be prescribed by the traditions of a community, including a religious community. Rituals are characterized by formalism, traditionalism, invariance, rule-governance, sacral symbolism and performance….
The field of ritual studies has seen a number of conflicting definitions of the term. One given by Kyriakidis is that a ritual is an outsider’s … category for a set activity (or set of actions) that, to the outsider, seems irrational, non-contiguous, or illogical.
Nevertheless, it would be nice if we practiced more majority rule in this country. Here Ezra Klein answers the question: “How can Republicans be less popular than Democrats yet headed for a landslide?”.
A reasonable person might stay home after reading that, but Mr. Klein believes “There are 9 damn good reasons to go vote today”.
Plus there’s that other important reason he doesn’t mention: It’s a ritual of democracy!