Record turnout or no, some voters opt out
Posted Tuesday, November 4 at 05:01 pm CT by Kari Huus
Filed under Nashville
Tom Crawford isn't voting in this year's presidential election. "Ain't gonna be any change," he says. (Jim Seida / msnbc.com)
Tom Crawford, 61, voted once, but it was a long time ago, and he sees nothing to gain by starting again now. As he sits eating sugar wafers on the front porch in a shady trailer home in northeast Nashville, his view in short is that it’s a long time since politicians really made a difference to him.
What he would like is for politicians to “Do their jobs. Stop gang violence.” Pressed for more thoughts, he adds: “Increase the minimum wage.”
Crawford, a wiry, independent man originally from California, gets by on a $650 a month Social Security check, as well as odd jobs he does for cash and meals. He has served some prison time, but his right to vote was restored and he could cast could vote if he chose to. He just doesn't see the point.
For Crawford, having a black man as a presidential candidate or a woman as vice presidential candidate may be historic, but he not counting on either the “change” that Obama promises or for the Republican candidates to act as mavericks.
“They will say what they want, and then they will get in office and do what they want,” he says.
Crawford’s neighbor, who refused to be identified except by the name Harry, seconds that opinion. He hasn’t voted since John F. Kennedy, and he says, “They killed him to keep him from fixing the system.”
As for McCain and Obama, Harry doesn’t like either one: “I say dig a hole and throw ‘em both in.”