THE BLOG
11/03/2006 09:37 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Don't Let "Hackable" Diebold Machines Give You A "What's The Use In Voting" Mindset

There are many who think that an Administration who has lied to us about WMD is perfectly capable of launching massive "stolen election" initiatives. I mean, this Administration hasn't exactly been trustworthy with us, and for some who feel the most passionate about this lack of trust to envision all sorts of Rovian-Dieboldian conspiracies doesn't take a huge leap of faith.

I"ve already told you where I stand- with Salon"s Farhad Manjoo and his strong articulation the other day for a paper trail but also with his debunking of some arguments that actual hacking- as opposed to widespread incompetence and racism-tinged unfairness- has taken place. But a reaffirmation of that stance is not why I am writing this particular post.

Instead, I seek to counterbalance the notion from some of my friends - and maybe some of yours too- that "the vote will be rigged anyway, so why bother?"

I fear this alienation will only get worse after more people with a proclivity to the "hacked vote" mindset watch HBO's "Hacking Democracy."

I fear that if what I call this "what's the use" meme spreads this weekend- at the same time the GOP's vaunted get-out-the-vote operation hits the phone lines, malls and Evangelical church parking lots- the results could cost we Democrats several races that are bound to be very close.

Enough of this "what's the use" toxin, and the Republicans could remain in control of one or both chambers.

At least in this post, my overarching wish is to not and try to convince you that what "could" happen-voting machines hacked without a trace- necessarily means it "has" or "will" happen.

What I implore you to think about instead is what definitely will happen if you sit this one out, and we get two more years of an Bush Administration unchecked with a counterveiling balance. The Senate confirms Supreme Court justices, the oldest sitting justice is the most liberal, and we're only one to-be-nominated Supreme Court Justice away.

So what happens if, say, enough New Jersey residents catch the "what's the use" meme and sit out this election and we are left with a 50-50 Senate rather than 51-49 D? Ask yourself. Would GOP Senatorial nominee Tom Kean vote for or against the next Alito? And do I need to tell you who breaks ties in the Senate and what that judge will do to Roe?

Do you really want your "what's the use" meme to result in a Supreme Court that makes a decision that leads to coat hangers and back-alley abortions?