The other half of the battle



According to an unbiased and well regarded source, knowing is half the battle.

Pie graph > Non-dessert type graphs.

Red and Blue lasers aside, it turns out showing up is the other 50%.

The recent boom in religiously unaffiliated Americans may ultimately help explain the results of the upcoming 2012 presidential election, according to a new poll that shows such voters lean heavily toward President Obama


It turns out people who care about whether or not the things they believe are true, are more likely to vote for Obama over Mittens “Clever Middle name for Lying his ass off” Romney. This is good, right?


……but are less likely than the religiously affiliated to turn out.

…god damnit.


There’s a lot of numbers and poll data here,

But the main point is this: The religiously unaffiliated are growing..but we’re not necessarily voting. Fix that. Make sure you and your “non-affiliated” friends get out to the polls and vote. Because until we do vote, government policy will continue to reflect the faith-drunk will of those who do.

Also, this cat.


You can find me on twitter, @DrDavidBurger

I recruit in Kansas City,

About doctorburger
  • iknklast

    I’ve voted in every election since I turned 18 (even small, local elections because those are terribly important). I must admit, it becomes more difficult now that I live in a state where I have no choices – and I mean none. My first election here was in 2006, and I stared in disbelief at a ballot that literally had only one candidate for every office. What sort of election is that? I wanta be something, so I’ll run for office, but I’d better be Republican so no one will dare run against me, because Democrats apparently are not permitted in this state (though, to be fair, we do have one Democrat senator, but he’s no good – he added an anti-abortion rider to Obama’s healthcare – yeah, that one – Ben Nelson. And he’s retiring this year, and the new electee will almost certainly be the Republican candidate who is possibly worse than Jim Inhofe…ouch).

    I have decided that I would take action rather than quit voting – I write in a candidate for any slot which has no choice (most of them). Some people would tell me to run for office. Sorry, the skeletons in my closet go beyond just atheism. The history of depression and electro-shock therapy, as well as an ex-husband who is gay, would almost certainly disqualify me, and lead to a very ugly campaign that could result in a loss of my job. I’ll stick with encouraging other people with smaller closets to run. (Yes, I’m an open atheist – if I weren’t, I’d actually have a much better chance).

  • Randomfactor

    My local congressman will still win handily–damn him–but at least this time he has an organized, persistent opponent I can vote for. I’m in a state which won’t matter much nationally but have also never missed an election.

    Pete Stark up in the northern part of the state is about to lose his long-held office BECAUSE he’s an atheist–the only “out” one in Congress.

  • invivoMark

    When every single candidate on every single ballot is blatantly pandering to religion, it can be hard to motivate oneself to go cast a vote in their favor.

    Though I am pretty excited that I get to vote for a lesbian this time.

  • Liberated Liberal

    Several of the people that I know who voted for Obama the last time, this time are planning on voting Libertarian. It infuriates me!!! I understand wanting to support the party of their choice (I guess :| – no fan of the party here) in the beginning, but at this point, they aren’t supporting the Libertarians, they are handing their vote over to Romney. They are terrified of Romney, but no matter how many times I try to discuss this with them, they simply don’t comprehend the problem. These are not stupid people, but in this case, they will not see what they’re doing. It just goes to show that people of all belief systems are capable of horrific willful ignorance.

    • RuQu

      They might also want to look at the platform and professed policies of the modern Libertarian Party. The name sounds great, and it’s always tempting to say “I’m a Libertarian,” but real parties have real agendas, and the Libertarian Party agenda is not very progressive at all. If legalized pot is your sole issue, I guess go for it, but if you supported Obama in 2008 and are disappointed, the Libertarian Party is not selling what you are looking for.

  • smrnda

    I sort of have mixed feelings about when it’s okay to vote for a 3rd party. Our system is set up to more or less default to 2 major parties and keep third parties out, but since I’ve become disappointed by the fact that the Democrats aren’t really a true left party would like to see more parties. 3rd parties would have to start winning some local elections, but I think we’d have to change a lot about how our political system works.

    At the same time, the sort of “if you go third party this is what happens” is valid criticism.

    • Jayn

      I feel the same way. To even consider voting third-party I’d have to be equally (not) OK with the two main candidates. (I’ve thought about it anyways since I live in a pretty red state, but it’s also one that can split the vote so…)

  • John Horstman

    The vast numbers of people who are entirely disengaged from the electoral system baffle me. Elections impact every single one of us, and they impact some of us rather heavily. Even if people don’t like either of the two major candidates, they should go vote for someone they do like, because that can have real impacts too. Seriously, how can anyone really not care who’s making the laws that dictate the bounds of what they can do with their lives?

    • tubi

      Some people just assume that the “government” is out to fuck them over regardless of who’s in power, so what’s the point. In some ways, they’re right.

    • invivoMark

      They don’t baffle me at all. That’s because I’ve discussed it with them. The problem is that an individual voting is a fart in a hurricane. The fact that the electoral college makes national elections boil down to a small handful of counties across the nation doesn’t help. Moreover, some people think that rampant corruption means that even participating in the process counts as an endorsement of that corruption. To those people, voting isn’t just useless, it’s actually detrimental.

      On top of that, there is a time investment in voting. Sure, if you can hypothetically change the course of the nation by taking 30 minutes out of your day once every four years, that would be more than worthwhile. But if your vote doesn’t make a mouse’s fart of a difference, then those 30 minutes could be invested in something a lot more worthwhile. Like twiddling your thumbs.

      The collective thumb-twiddling of every American living outside of a battleground state for 30 minutes could power our electrical grid for, like, a whole minute!

      • MV

        They baffle me and yet they don’t.

        I don’t buy the fact that it takes a significant investment in time, at least in my state. It’s hard not to be registered to vote and then they send you a ballot. All you have to do is fill it out and return it. The time investment argument is a poor one. Yes, their individual vote is not important but twiddling thumbs doesn’t accomplish anything either.

        I think they just want to whine while trying to avoid the responsibility. If you don’t participate, you are making a statement. But it’s not that you think the system is poor, or that it is corrupt, but rather that you don’t care and that the people in charge can do anything they like in your name. Personally, I don’t respect the political opinion of anyone who can vote but doesn’t.

    • RuQu

      I vote in CA. I usually vote. If I do or don’t, the result is generally the same. We are a very blue state, and our Representative Districts are highly gerrymandered so those aren’t likely to change colors either.

      If I lived in OH or FL, I’d do everything I could to make sure I voted every single time. In CA…it’s just less of a big deal. I made a special point to vote in this one because I think it’s important that Obama win the popular vote, not just the Electoral College, to help avoid any of the unrest I already see brewing here in the South where I’m stationed and solidly blue states can help with that.

  • UsingReason

    I’m in Canada but we have many similar problems with the quality of people running for office. I have probably wrote in on more ballots than I have actually voted for someone that was running. Last federal election I was disgruntled with every member of the mainstream parties but I thought the Green party actually had some reasonably intelligent things to say. And then she actually got elected, go figure.

  • smrnda

    On voting, for people not privileged enough to be middle class like myself, voting means ‘having to take time off work’ and when you’re doing a 10 to 12 hour shift at the slaughterhouse, there are significant barriers to one’s voting. True, employers are supposed to give you time to do that, but if you don’t drive and live a distance from work, you’re pretty much out of luck. Yeah, there are absentee ballots, but as long as I have an easier time getting out to vote than a poor person, we don’t all have equal access.