Low Voter 'Passion' Is Good For The Republic

Jim Geraghty pointed to a Washington Post column in which Karen Tumulty wrings her hands about women “taking a break” from politics. Indeed, diminished political “passion” or low voter turnout isn’t necessarily undesirable, as it’s often a sign of general contentment with the state of the world. The outsized role government plays in our lives has sparked a destructive religious fervor in politics. This obsession — from our misguided celebration of “engagement and activism” to the politicization of every cultural event — has damaged the fabric and comity of American life. Politics is a poor substitute for family, faith, work, or community. Perhaps, if we’re lucky, this ebb in passion will motivate voters to once again seek out more rewarding and decent religions than politics, because a fixation with elections rarely leads to any constructive place. As George Will helpfully pointed out in a recent Reason podcast, authoritarianism isn’t about barring people from politics but rather engulfing their entire existence in it.

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