Some libertarian students have undertaken an extremely difficult task for Election Day in the Internet age: they will avoid finding out who won, for as long as possible.
To do that, they will need to forego Facebook and Twitter, plug their ears on the subway, and shield their eyes from any stray newspaper clippings that might spoil the game.
“I’m not going to be on the Internet at all until I accidentally discover who won the election,” said Clint Townsend, a recent graduate of the University of North Texas, in an interview with The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Definitely won’t be on Facebook, Reddit, any of those places.”
Townsend manages the campus coordinator program of Students for Liberty, an educational organization that promotes libertarian values on college campuses. He and several of his friends at SFL are taking bets on which of them can go the longest without knowing whether President Obama or Mitt Romney won the election.
He isn’t taking any chances.
“I called my politically-savvy uncle last night to remind him not to discuss the election with me since we usually talk after debates and elections,” he said. “It will be difficult to avoid the news in my commute to work as I imagine the metro will be littered with newspapers, but I’ll be wearing headphones to dodge conversations and avoiding eye contact with all news sources.”
For Townsend, the game also serves as a mild protest against the public’s obsession with incessant, horse-race-style election news. Politics is not the only path to changing the world, he said.
“The actions of any government are always determined by the culture and the broadly held ideas of a people,” he said. “I want [people] to realize they can effect change outside of being directly involved in campaigns and campaign politics as well.”
Ian Hosking, who also plans on avoiding the outcome of the election, knows that he will have to stay out of earshot of his roommates
“I am avoiding my roommates, who are all very politically minded, and they will inevitably moan and make a kerfuffle, whatever the outcome,” said Hosking, a libertarian, in an interview with The DC News Foundation.
And if someone blabs the answer, how wroth will he be?
“No more upset than I will be when I pay my taxes this year,” he said.
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