Regarding your comment about single-issue voting I want to unpack that a little bit. I am inclined to agree with you but I think there are important distinctions to be made. For instance if someone’s single issue is civil rights I think that’s a perfectly reasonable thing to insist elected representatives maintain. But if it’s something like taxation that’s much less defensible.

I did sort of two forms of volunteering in 2020 with one being getting voters registered and helping them negotiate the weird absentee return rules — that was a non-partisan position — and the other being actually answering emails for Biden’s campaign. I did get a few emails from people who might be the single-issue voter and it was quite difficult responding to them because how do you respond to an email that says, “if your candidate doesn’t do [thing that candidate has said he might not or will not do] I will never vote for him!!!!1!!” But those were relatively rare and I think they were meant more as a special little insult to the volunteers than any actual attempt to move the political dial.

To change people’s minds or at least expand their interests in voting I think it’s more useful to look at ideological rigidity. Ask yourself, and then them “how much of your position is performative?” Because I’ve seen with ideologically rigid people 1. they do tend to focus on a single and not terribly encompassing issue, and 2. they’re not voting a certain way because they genuinely believe in the position but because they want to signal to others that they’re super edgy. And this brings us back to abortion. I don’t think people who are supposedly against abortion are actually against the medical procedure. I think a lot of them are genuinely misogynists and do believe that they should control women’s bodies, but I think their political position is more about them “performing,” an ideology that they believe will solidify their position within their in-group.

Doctor of Palaeopathology, rage-prone optimist, stealth berserker, opera enthusiast, and insatiable consumer of academic journals.

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