Political Blogger Avoids Politics

Is it odd that a political blogger dislikes actual political involvement ? No, not really.

Ann Althouse, University of Wisconsin Law Professor and political blogger, has a confession to make:

I didn’t vote in the Wisconsin primary. And I took refuge in the back of my house many times when candidates — actual candidates, not their acolytes — rang my doorbell in the hope of getting to talk to me personally. They left handwritten “sorry I missed you” notes.

I’ve got to agree with Ann’s first point. I don’t like solicitors coming to the door of my home to begin with, and I like soliciting politicians even less. The idea of having my early evening, or my Saturday afternoon college football watching, interrupted by some party hack telling me why I should vote for their candidate is just, well, annoying. So ignoring them sounds like a perfectly good option to me. (I also despise robo-calls, but I’ve thankfully escaped those after ditching the land line several years ago).

As for Ann’s revelation that she didn’t vote in yesterday’s primary, she’s already taken some heat for that in her comment thread, but I honestly don’t see what the big deal is there. I’ve never been one of those people who believe that there is something necessarily horrible about not voting, especially if the reason someone chooses not to vote is because they refuse to fall for the “lesser of two evils” argument of the two major political parties. Nor is it necessary to participate in every election. I live in a state with open primaries, but since I don’t consider myself a member of either political party, I typically don’t vote in party primaries. If I do, it’s to support a candidate that I’ve already decided I would vote for in the General Election. Intra-party squabbles don’t concern me, and neither does who gets elected to the Water Conservation Board.

There’s a difference, in other words, in being wholly disengaged from politics, which is the state that many Americans find themselves in, and being engaged but choosing not to participate in a particular election. It’s not a civic sin to fail to vote, nor should one be required to vote, as some have suggested. So Ann, if you take some heat for not voting that’s fine, I’ve skipped elections too and I don’t feel guilty about it.

Ann goes on to say:

Like many Americans, I have an aversion to politics. I may write about politics every day, but it’s from a distance… an intentional, heartfelt distance.

I’ve got to say I agree here completely. Politics is interesting to me, but too much of it has become juvenile, stupid, and petty. I wish we lived in a country where the government was far less involved in the lives of it’s citizens, and where so many of us didn’t have to spend so much time keeping an eye on it. But, alas, this is the world we live in.

FILED UNDER: Blogosphere, US Politics, , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. TG Chicago says:

    I dunno. If I had a chance to speak one-on-one with a candidate or an officeholder – even for a small office – I’d want to take the opportunity. Granted, I’d prefer to have a chance to prepare for it rather than have to come up with questions on the spot (Oh! You’re a candidate for the Water Reclamation District, are you? Um, I have always wondered about… uh….), but I can’t imagine why a politically engaged person wouldn’t want to take that opportunity.