Article — From the October 2012 issue

Why Vote?

When your vote counts for nothing

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The heroic narrative of modern society has always been that democracy would prevail in the end. We believe that democracy somehow has an infinite resilience, that it is a bottomless reserve capable of being tapped whenever necessary, that in times of crisis not only will great men be recognized, called forth, and elected to office but that we, the people, will rise to the occasion when required to do so. We have long counted on democracy to be the safety brake on our worst impulses, to be the countervailing force against fanatical ideologies, to serve as a check on the …

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is a contributing editor of Harper’s Magazine. His essay “The Vanishing Liberal” appeared in the April 2010 issue.

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