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*Please critique* why you should not vote

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The Texas Trigger Posted: Tue, Sep 25 2012 3:34 AM


I wrote this to a few family and friends and sent it out in an email. i would love for you guys to read it, critique it, add to it, and give me your thoughts. Thanks.


Why you should not vote:


          The odds of your vote deciding the election are about one millionth of 1%, or .000001%, or .0001/1 million. The odds of your dying in a car accident on the way to vote are over .0036% or 1/28,105. The odds tell you to not vote, and this just out of your own safety, let alone the opportunity cost to do so. This also does not include the fact that there are entire states where, even if you were given the right to vote for everybody in them, they still have, historically, had no affect on the outcome of a presidential election (that is, if we are talking about electoral college votes).


          Additionally, your vote is really a mere suggestion to the Electoral College. You don’t actually vote, but suggest. Here is how it actually works. You and some of your fellow citizens from your state cast suggestions as to who should be president. The Electoral College Reps for your state look at the aggregate of these suggestions, then may or may not choose to vote for the same candidate that was popularly suggested by the state’s people. After consulting the state’s suggestions, they make a decision. This decision is not necessarily the same as the one arrived at by the state’s popular vote. This is why Al Gore didn’t win the election in 2000, despite the fact that he actually gained the nationwide popular vote. I repeat: more American’s voted for Al Gore than George Bush (this is not a widely contested claim), yet George Bush still became president.


          Voting is also an illusion of some sort of contract; this illusion is no substitute for the real deal. The idea is that a candidate makes promises to the voters that, if elected, he will do X, Y, and Z, and maybe even an intern or two…=-0. If the voters like promises X, Y, and Z, they give the candidate their vote in exchange for the fulfillment of these promises. But, what if the politician promises you something, you vote for him, he wins, and he ends up breaking this promise? I know that is a BIG “if” (politicians never break their promises), but let’s just say he does break this promise. Well, in that case, your vote was pretty meaningless. Sure, it may have helped him into office, but you didn’t get what you “paid” for with your vote, did you? So what is your recourse? There is none, because votes are not contracts. However, on thing that votes definitely are is anonymous. This is why a politicians promises can always been taken back. He owes you nothing because there is no real recourse. If it can be said that a politician owes anybody, it would be only to his donors, and really only the large ones at that. What does he owe them? Favors, and ones that you, in all likelihood, cannot grant the donor yourself. This is why major corporations and wealthy individuals aren’t wining and dining you and giving you large sums of money for “nothing”. You have no clout; the politician does.


          Another reason not to vote is that it is a waste of your time for an entirely different reason. No matter which guy you vote for, both usually end up being the same, regardless of which party’s ticket the candidate runs on. The difference between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney is merely aesthetic or rhetorical. They are both Keynesians, they are both warmongers, and they are both power hungry, thus their policies will likely be exactly the same. Now, there is a caveat to this. My bet is Mitt will be worst on every level compared to Obama, given that Obama has been worst on every level compared to Bush. This has been the case for a while now, and I believe this is the case because it is in the nature of the politician to build additional and new tyranny on top of the old. A president can only get away with so much in 4-8 years (as the people allow). After they do their damage, its up to the next guy to take more power from the people. This was the case with Obama’s lengthening of the PATRIOT Act’s powers, as well as the National Defense Authorzation Act of 2012. Obama has also started additional wars that we don’t usually even hear about, and Romney wants to go to war directly with Iran, a grave mistake.


          Which brings me to my final point. Voting (as well as the state) is morally indefensible. Despite this fact, many will make the claim “if you don’t vote, you have no right to complain.” I don’t understand this argument, and I’ll use an illustration to explain why.


          Let us imagine that you walk onto a car lot. A salesman greets you, but before you have time to say “hello” back to him, he locks you in a room. In this room sits a beautiful new Honda as well as an equally impressive new Toyota. Despite how great the cars look, you naturally demand to be released from the locked room. The salesman says, “Hey, I’ll be happy to let you out just as soon as we take care of some business. After that, you are free to leave the lot as you please.” “Ok, what business?” you ask. The salesman replies, “Well, I guess you weren’t aware of it, but on this car lot, we have a law. This law stipulates that any customers who come onto the lot are immediately placed in this room and are given three choices. You must either buy the Honda or the Toyota.” “Ok.” you say, “What is the third choice?” The salesman adds, “Well, you can choose neither, however I feel obligated to inform you that should you take this option, I will be forced to pick one for you and send you the bill. Let me also make it clear to you that I have in my employ several men with guns and if you choose the third option, but do not pay the bill, I will be forced to imprison you here forever. Oh, and also, every four years, you need to come back and either pay for the same car again or buy a new one. So, what will it be?” Your reply: “Shit!”


          Of course, this would be a ludicrous policy for the lot to enforce. It is not moral, and it is not effective. Now, let’s get back to voting; is it really any different? As with anything proposed by the state, we know that voting does work in exactly the same way as the car lot explained above, yet, in the context of voting, everyone will smugly tell you how important voting is to liberty. What is rarely pointed out is the obvious conclusion that should be smacking us in the face: that to force on another a decision between one of two rulers is an even more morally ludicrous notion than forcing one to buy one of two cars. Voting is, quite simply, a false dichotomy.


          Now, I personally believe that if you vote, you still have a right to complain. The Founders called it “Freedom of Speech”. Among many rights included in this freedom is the right to complain, and this complaining could really be about anything: the weather, the traffic, or even who wins or looses a presidential election.


          Also part of one’s freedom of speech is his right to assert his opinions in any non-verbal (but also non-violent and non-coercive) way, including, but not limited to, interpretive dance, loud yelling, prayer, forming contracts, and voting.


          Finally, a man can also protest as part of his freedom of speech. The most popular forms of protest are sit-ins, picketing, marching, and forming a petition of grievances. However, the most ignored form of protest, by far, is a man’s right not to perform certain actions he finds morally reprehensible and/or nonproductive. Among these (let’s call them “non-performed”) actions is a man’s right to abstain from the act of voting. I fall under this category.


          However, if we must make the argument that there is, in fact, some party who does not deserve the right to complain about the circumstances of the economy, or policy, or the condition of man’s rights in general, then I assert that it must certainly be the voter (or at the least the voter of the winner). In either case, the non-voter can never be blamed, for how can you blame the results stemming from any decision on a person who did not make the decision in the first place?


          Perhaps I should expound on what I mean a bit further. If you vote, you are, in a way, consenting to the process and, in essence, have decided to treat the vote as a contract, perhaps as part of the vague idea of the “social contract”. As outlined above, the voting process has the unfortunate characteristic of presenting the individual with a false and morally reprehensible dichotomy of choice; he must choose one candidate or the other, just as the man on the car lot must choose the Toyota or the Honda. If a man should pick one of the candidates, he is foregoing the third option of choosing no one and has, in effect, accepted the premise of the dichotomy. As soon as he accepts this premise, he has also implicitly accepted the risk that his choice of candidate may lose the race, and this risk also includes any consequences (good or bad) resulting from his candidate’s losing. Just as the investor in a stock must accept his losses along with his gains, so too must the voter.


          Conversely, the non-voter can say, “I never gave my consent to be ruled by either of these assholes, yet you expect me to be content with the consequences that result from their rulings? If I must be forced to hand over my right to self-governance or to pick my own ruler, then I think I have, at the very least, earned the right to complain about it. You, voter, agreed to be ruled by one of these men. How dare you try to take from me my last outlet for anger: complaint!” Is he not justified in his complaint? I think so, and I also think you will be hard-pressed to make any argument otherwise.


          In summation, if you vote, be prepared to accept the fact that, while you can legally complain about the outcome of the election, as well as its positive or negative effects, you really have no principled leg to stand on when you complain. If, however, you do not vote, then you have at least earned the moral grounds on which to bitch all you want, at least in my eyes.


          In either case, the fact is, we are holding onto our liberty by a thread. No, less than that; we are holding onto our liberty by the mirage of a thread. This mirage is not worthless though. Perception can change everything. While there is almost nothing to stop our government from executing all out serfdom among its people, most of us walk around blissfully unaware of that possibility. In most cases, I would call that a bad thing, but if we can just wake people up just enough, make them aware of the fact that this could happen, things might be different. Ironically, it was a presidential candidate, Ron Paul, who has given me hope in that message. I just hope enough of the youth in this country will realize the gravity of our situation in time to change things, and do so outside of political, coercive means.     


What do you guys think? Anything to add?


"If men are not angels, then who shall run the state?" 

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Bill replied on Tue, Sep 25 2012 9:05 AM

It'll never happen but the best solution would be to have "none of the above" on the ballot. 

I think voter turnout would increase dramatically. People who were deprived of voting for their candidate of choice would have an option. By showing up at the polls and voting for anarchy over tyranny you can't be accused of not giving a shit or you get the government you deserve.

Most importantly the second place candidate, be Obama or Romney can't proclaim that they have the consent of the people.

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Bogart replied on Tue, Sep 25 2012 10:05 AM

The safety argument has the most merit especially when you include serious injury or disease from getting to and being at the polling place.  Most polling places are in schools which are breeding grounds for diseases and if the voter does not have children in school then they have little immunity to these bugs.  The other reason is the loss in productivity as millions of people go to polling places and skip doing other things that might actually add to their lives and lives of others.  The other argument is that a voter is an intentional participant in a rigged game.  There can be no clearer point than that the differences between parties is minimal than looking at the policies of the last series of presidential elections.  McCain was the only one who was really different as he seemed to be much more into killing Middle Easterners who have not harmed any USA citizens than the warmongering Obama, Romney, Bush, Gore, Kerry, etc.

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Anenome replied on Tue, Sep 25 2012 11:04 AM

There are a few laws that libertarians could get passed in, say, states that have the referendum process, which could advance our cause. Call it the political-arbitrage of the referendum. Libertarians may be generally locked out of political office, but the referendum allows end-runs. So with that in mind...

I've thought of a law that could advance libertarian and debate in the public eye if put up for referendum. It's one that the political establishment would hate, but the people might like a good deal. That's the key, to create wedge laws between people and politicians.

The law goes thus: if at least 50% of the residents of a region do not vote in a particular election, then the outcome of that election shall be voided and no one shall hold that office for the term of that office, and the funds allocated to that office previously shall be returned to the people as a tax refund each year.

Obviously that's not in lawyer-ese, but is the intent of it.

This has the advantage of using the so-called legitimation-creation ability of a vote against itself. It strikes the average person as reasonable that a politician whose residents don't vote for them shouldn't hold office, and they'd certainly like to have the money back.

And, in the sphere of argument, it would be very easy to win any argument about it by simply arguing that if less than 50% of the people in a region even bother to show up to vote for someone, then what that person does must not be very important to their lives, and perhaps we can do without them entirely.

Autarchy: rule of the self by the self; the act of self ruling.
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gotlucky replied on Tue, Sep 25 2012 11:15 AM

The Texas Trigger:

Which brings me to my final point. Voting (as well as the state) is morally indefensible. Despite this fact, many will make the claim “if you don’t vote, you have no right to complain.” I don’t understand this argument, and I’ll use an illustration to explain why.

Fuck this. Can't embed the damn URL.

Linke is here: George Carlin Doesn't Vote

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