"If voting made a difference, they wouldn't let us do it."
Despite the contentious candidates, insipid scandals, insidious corruption, raucous rallies, deleterious diatribes, and all-around farcical shit storm of a dystopian presidential election cycle — with all its rigged opprobrium — millions of Americans will cast aside logic, pull the wool over their eyes, and angrily take to the polls on Tuesday.
Because illusions about participating in a loosely-defined democratic kleptocracy — hammered into our brains through indoctrination equating voting to patriotic duty — have replaced the higher call to critically consider the magnitude of this mess, people still think voting matters.
But voting — at least for the foreseeable future — isn’t mandatory.
We’ve been led to believe this illusion of options veiling the tightly-wrought control of limited dissent represents our only hope for a new term’s better legislation and governance — when the mechanisms behind that veil instead operate purely with their own enrichment and survival in mind.
Sure, people might play the lesser-evil card to justify voting for any one of these criminals and hypocrites, including those trying the third-party route, but the 2016 election cycle — with all its incendiary madness — has handily proven the need for massive reform.
You might be one of the innumerable weary voters begrudgingly heading to the polls to cast a vote for your preferred lesser literal evil — wondering why you continue participating in this exercise of utter futility.
There is good news. Something you likely haven’t considered. Something so revolutionary, it might not have flirted with your other considerations — but so freeing and fundamental in its simplicity, it has a reputation for slaying longheld ideologies and extricating those who choose it from the emotional conflict inherent in lesser-evilism.
Just don’t vote.
Don’t participate in a system claiming to uphold your freedoms while simultaneously quashing them through the trick of severely circumscribed choices. And before you flatly reject this concept for radicalism, consider the following albeit partial list fleshing out why abstaining from the vote isn’t actually as kooky as you think.
1. Voting only validates the failing system. By casting a vote, you’re telling politicians you accept things the way they are — one of the worst educational programs in the Western world, a healthcare system mashup benefiting overgrown pharmaceutical and insurance companies, militarized police, and so on.
2. Voting for a lesser of two evils — which the largest swath of the voting public will do today — equates an acceptance of evil. Just because one candidate seems on the surface to be less horrendous than the other, doesn’t mean the other isn’t also horrendous in their own right. When you continue, election after election, to vote for the lesser evil, evil always wins.
3. Are you pro-war? Do you want young Americans to travel abroad to kill other nations’ civilians, and be killed themselves, for hegemonic usurpation of natural resources for the profit of government welfare-backed corporations, Big Banks, and industries? This is not defense of the country. This is not fighting for freedom. This is hubristic imperialism enforced by unadulterated violence. When you vote, you support needless war and death.
4. Voting is state-sponsored force. In every nation, and particularly the U.S., people have stark differences in values, religion, beliefs, ideology, culture — the list is endless. By casting a ballot, you’re forcing your specific set of beliefs onto everyone — whether or not they agree. If your chosen lesser evil wins, the opposite is true — that is, even if that candidate follows through on their campaign vows … which brings us to …
5. Presidential candidates are advertisers — they excel at propagandizing themselves as a tidy package of promises — but they rarely, if ever, follow through. President Obama originally ran on a platform of stark opposition to the Iraq War, and even somehow won the Nobel Peace Prize — but the U.S. military never left Iraq — and his administration just sent hundreds more troops there to fight. Campaign promises, by design, deceive voters into thinking things will be different ‘this time’ — voting is a display of gullibility.
6. When you vote, the establishment wins. Always. In fact, the establishment’s only interest is self-preservation. This time around, Hillary Clinton obviously embodies establishment principles — but if you bought Donald Trump’s anti-establishment rhetoric (see number 5), you’ve been duped already. Not only does he have a longstanding relationship with the Clintons — which should’ve tipped off the attentive among us — in just one example, Trump plans to appoint a Goldman Sachs-George Soros insider who has donated large sums to Clinton’s campaign as Treasury Secretary. Soros, as you might be aware, is a billionaire globalist and extreme left-leaning influencer of foreign policy — which brings us to …
7. Voters are presented with two choices, blue or red — but they’ll get purple either way. American politics are a duopoly, and though slight differences on social issues indeed exist, larger institutional matters — militarized police, education, the military-industrial machine, private prisons, etc. — are a general constant driving the rest. Thanks to the bottomless pockets of lobbyists, nothing substantial ever changes.
8. Voting tells the international community Americans recognize the legitimacy of the system — with all its flaws, fraud, corruption, and collusion included. If the masses refused to vote, other nations would be alerted something has gone awry in the U.S. — and would not consider the election legitimate. Whatever candidate then attempted to take office would be considered a dictator, and if no one did, the failed system would be dismantled — providing a clean slate for something entirely new.
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9. Voting constitutes the tacit acknowledgement mob rule is a fabulous concept. When the majority elects a candidate, the minority loses. Voting tells the world you’re just peachy forcing your views on others — by force. Who needs rogue mobs of violent extortionists roaming the streets to impose the will of a few on the many, when you have— oh. Wait. That’s the police.
10. Voting substantiates corporate influence over the legislative system. Not only were corporations granted personhood through the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United to allow unfettered campaign donations through corrupt Super PACs, but their uber-wealthy executives can do the same. Your vote doesn’t have any meaning if you can’t back a candidate by propping up their campaign with oodles of cash. Period.
11. Your vote for a candidate whose platform (see number 5) you aren’t in complete agreement with validates bad policy. Saying, ‘I like Candidate X, except for their stance on social policy A — but Candidate Y is really terrible’ does not a viable argument make. Especially considering …
12. No one really knows the candidates’ platforms anyway. Relying on the propaganda and rhetoric each spews during debates, rallies, interviews, and ads to understand what each will do once in the White House (see number 6) is akin to learning brain surgery from YouTube — you might think you know, but in practice, things could go very wrong. Most voters don’t even bother visiting the candidates’ websites to dig deeper — and might be quite unpleasantly surprised if they did. Not that informing yourself about what a candidate won’t do anyway actually matters.
13. Voting is a sham. Though today is officially Election Day, early voters have already reported electronic voting machines magically switching votes — or flat out preventing people from choosing the politicians they want. Confusing ballot setups further mystify voters, as well. Not that paper ballots fared any better — those old enough will immediately, but not fondly, recall the hanging chad fiasco in utterly disastrous overall debacle of the 2000 election. Speaking of that…
14. Your vote isn’t necessarily up to you, anyway. For example, in an exceedingly simplified rundown of the 2000 presidential election, an extremely close popular vote in Florida — worsened by ballot problems (see 13) — led Al Gore to challenge the results in court. Eventually, the United States Supreme Court intervened — but its decision a mere two hours prior to Florida’s deadline to finalize the vote tally essentially decided the national election in favor of George W. Bush. Many felt Gore would have won had a recount, or another election, been performed — particularly if undervotes, those the machines couldn’t read, had been hand counted. Oh well. So much for the value of the vote.
15. Voting for a third party candidate just isn’t the rebellion you’ve been led to believe. That politician is as much a politician as those representing the duopoly — further, once that third party politician sits in the Oval Office, they’re as bound to follow the same establishment rules, and look to the same establishment Congress, as anyone. A third party candidate might seem different than their red or blue counterparts, but you’re still casting a vote for the failed system.
Additionally, to address the naysayers, voting third party isn’t throwing your vote away when no votes have inherent worth. No vote is in itself an act of rebellion when all votes are a futile participation in the illusion.
16. If you don’t vote, the irate masses warn, you aren’t fulfilling your civic duty — but the masses are simply stuck in the delusion that voting matters and don’t grasp the concept of coercive force. In no way is it your duty to impose your views on anyone by voting for this farcical system enriching the few at the cost of oppressing the many. Ire against non-voters only evidences exactly this point.
Further, the choice to not vote isn’t a privilege of a particular race, despite claims to the contrary. Telling someone you don’t have the luxury of abstaining from the election shows an absurd ignorance of the mechanisms of our system of governance. No matter who sits at the helm, the stratification of wealth will continue, the militarization of police will intensify, and legislators will write into law policies benefiting the upper crust.
17. Refusing to vote gives you both a clean conscience — and the right to complain.
Wait … what??
It’s true. Despite the myth that if you don’t vote you can’t complain, the absolute contrary is actually true. To explain this concept to the skeptics, take it from the late, great, visionary comedian, George Carlin:
“If you vote, you have no right to complain. People like to twist that around, I know. They say, well, ‘if you don’t vote you have no right to complain’ — but where’s the logic in that?
“If you vote, and you elect dishonest, incompetent people, and they get into office and screw everything up, you are responsible for what they have done. You’ve caused the problem. You’ve voted them in. You have no right to complain.
“I, on the other hand, who did not vote — who, in fact, did not even leave the house on Election Day — am in no way responsible for what these people have done and have every right to complain as loud as I want about the mess you created that I had nothing to do with.”
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This Election Day, vacate the vote, stop participating in the illusion, learn to rule yourself and lead your community. Stop giving rulers an excuse to run your life the way they — not you — see fit.