I’ve always been fascinated by people who don’t vote. I know there are a plethora of reason not to and I personally don’t view the act of not voting to be morally wrong. In fact, I would encourage more and more people to not vote, especially if they don’t normally pay some attention to politics every now and then. This idea stems from my belief that if you don’t care about what the State is doing for most of the year, why are you going to make changes to things you clearly don’t understand or care for? Also, if you’ve ever voted for an American Idol in the past and were over the age of 17 at the time, you probably should be banned from voting in political elections for about 10 years.
As for the people who do pay attention, who are intelligent, and who couldn’t care less about American Celebrity-pop culture yet still persist in not voting, I’m a bit curious as to why. I know that there are a lot of libertarians, anarchists, free-market individualists, etc. who believe that voting only encourages the State. I also know that there are many who don’t see a point because they don’t like the candidates they have. Still others will say that they don’t have time, which I find to be a valid excuse.
So let me break down some of the reasons and perhaps offer a better solution. I know that many people will say that their vote only encourages the State to do things that violate the common liberty for all. This is usually coming from the libertarians and most other Anti-Statists. I can certainly sympathize with that argument, because I myself am strictly Antistatist. I believe that the government will find a way to abuse whatever power we give them and that most people are much better off living without many of the services provided by the State.
The problem I find with that argument is that in a democracy or a representative democracy or a Republic, the State wants you all not to vote, especially if you are an intelligent or well-grounded individual. Think about it. Have you ever seen a jury selection go on where the lawyers get to pick and choose who gets to be on the jury and who doesn’t? If you were a possible candidate for a jury and you said that you believe in the merits of jury nullification, the lawyers would be quick to kick you out. This is because you are asserting that at the end of the trial, no matter what the law says, it is what the jury says that ultimately counts.
The same can be said for when you don’t vote because it you believe it encourages the State. The State will be encouraged even more if you don’t vote because the few people who do vote are going to be people who care more about your well-being than they probably have a natural right to. In fact, I’ll bet that many operatives in the political machine seek to create a low voter turnout because they know that the more people who do vote will decrease their chances of winning.
In essence, I firmly believe that you’re playing into their hands if you abstain from voting for that reason. But there is a huge downside to voting: it’s always between a douche and a turd. Yes, I am fully aware that both the Democrats and Republicans will fail to produce someone worth voting for more often than not. And please, don’t get me started on third party candidates. Those folks can be just as big of a whore as the mainstream candidates are.
My solution is simple: if your state offers the opportunity to write in a candidate, then you should show up, take a ballot and write in your own name. Think about it. It is the ultimate statement of protest against the ever expanding, increasingly centralized government you seek to avoid. By doing so, you state that you know what’s good for you and that you are perfectly qualified to do it.
Of course, if you don’t have that option, then just don’t vote, unless there is a ‘None of the Above’ option. That’s probably just as good. Still, it would be an interesting day if everyone who hated government show up to the polls and voted for themselves across the board.
When it comes down to it, I really don’t care if you decide to vote or not. It’s not like we all live in Brazil where you have to vote or you’re breaking the law.