[By Ben Noble]
I have two messages about voting that I would like to give in this post. The first one should at least be palatable by the average person, though it will put a couple twists in the underwear of the über patriot or the social contract enthusiast. If I haven’t scared you off after that, then I cordially invite you to consider a my second and more radical message about voting. Gird your loins / hold onto your butts.
[YouTube version of this post here]
Don’t vote in the Presidential Election 2016
One of the most dangerous lies we have been fed is that voting is a duty or, much worse, that it is a virtue. For the less idealistic there is the narrative that admits voting is not necessarily the positive force it’s made out to be. It centers around making excuses to vote for politicians that you don’t want to support and usually includes something about the “lesser of two evils.”
Hillary Clinton is the logical conclusion to this sadomasochistic voting method. The Democrats have nominated a felon so politically connected that she is above prosecution. The American electorate’s gradual acceptance of more and more evil in their politicians is virtually the only reason she has gotten anywhere even while being overwhelmingly disliked.
Donald Trump is the perverse backlash against the establishment in DC. The problem is that the establishment has been fucking up and fucking us so consistently that people can’t identify better policy from worse policy. They can only differentiate between who the establishment likes and who they attack. Donald Trump does not have any novel or new policy stances. He’s a Democrat running as a Republican for fuck sake. Some people say supporting him is worth it so that he can nominate conservative judges to the Supreme Court. Well, tell me how that worked out with Justice Roberts.
So let’s get serious here. Ethically you should not legitimize the system that produced these candidates. Ethically you should not cast a vote and implicate yourself with the unjust actions and policies the winner will inevitably enact. By supporting either of these sociopaths you claim responsibility for what they will do. By doing so you will no longer be able to complain about the actions of this government. You will have endorsed it just as every voter in every election has done up until now.
You only have one ethical option. Withdraw your consent. There is no ethical requirement saying that you have to vote. In fact, the opposite is true. You are ethically required to oppose corrupt and destructive politicians.
Speaking of ethics, let’s get to my second message about voting. If you found the above compelling at all, then let me save you 6 months of self reflection and put you on the path to where this line of reasoning ends.
There is no way around it. Voting is a tool people use to control those around them. Like my daddy used to say, “democracy is the 51% voting to piss in the corn flakes of the 49%.” Only this isn’t completely accurate. I’m a little embarrassed that it needs to be said, but the rich and politically connected are the ones that are really in charge. The saying should be “democracy is the rich and powerful fooling the electorate into thinking the 51% can vote to piss in the corn flakes of the 49%.” Real talk though, we all get pee in our dry breakfast cereal. Over time the ratio of pee to milk gets worse. Especially if you subscribe to the self-inflicted dick punching of voting for the lesser evil. That’s a proven way to get more evil.
It’s pretty simple, politicians run on political platforms. These lead to laws that will impact the lives of everyone in the jurisdiction whether they support it or not and with or without their consent. Laws are enforced through the threat or use of violence. This shouldn’t be shocking to anyone. This is government 101. The question then becomes “is it ethical to use the violence of the state to control the actions of others?”
Some people say yes on the grounds that society gives the government the right to take certain actions on it’s behalf. My question to that is “where does it end?” Is it ethical for the individuals in society to give the government the authority to take actions that those very same individuals cannot? Is it possible for an action to be unethical when an individual does it, but ethical when a government agent does it? Is it ethical for me to lock you in my basement if I find you smoking crack? Is it ethical if I steal your money, give some to the poor, and keep a little for my trouble? Is it ethical for me to walk into your business and tell you how to run it? If individuals are not ethically permitted to take these actions, then how can they give that right to the government, an organization made up of individuals? You can make an argument that protection of people and property is legitimate, but then you’re making the case for minarchism and not for the bloated parasite of a state we have now. In my opinion, a serious investigation into a unified theory of ethics that includes all individuals, especially government agents, leads you all the way to Anarchy Town.
In most instances voting is an act of aggression. It is an attempt to get government agents to steal from and force your neighbors to act in accordance with your preferences. It is at the same time tyrannical and cowardly. There are exceptions to this, though. I’m not completely against engaging in the political process. There can be appropriate situations for doing so, but it’s best if you keep in mind that it is a shameful thing; like your consumption of hentai and waifu body pillows.
Voting on local ballet initiatives is perhaps the most ethical form of voting. Here at least you have a chance to decrease government aggression. For instance I will be voting for the legalization of medical marijuana in my state. Then its decriminalization and so on until you free to do with your body what you wish without harming others. It is a bit distasteful to vote in this manner as it is a form of begging the government for freedom you should already possess. Voting down increased taxes is permissible as well. Can’t argue against lowering the amount of state sponsored theft. Voting for politicians that seek to decrease government aggression is trickier. I’d say it’s best to avoid voting for politicians all together, but I won’t throw any stones over a vote for a Rand Paul or a Justin Amash, but know that they are operating in an unethical system and will likely lose every battle they engage in.
The idea that we can vote our way to prosperity is insane. If you want to help your fellow man, then voting for a politician to do it for you does not make you charitable. It makes you a tyrant and a thief. If you need help from your fellow man, then voting for a politician to help you does not make you a charity recipient. It makes you a tyrant and a thief. Take responsibility for yourself and the change you want to see in the world. Imagining that you can do so by electing the right overlord will rob you of whatever ethical high ground you think you are occupying.