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Scrap Notes #3: Don't Vote

My Thoughts On: November 17th, 2003

Yet another piece that I found that is a couple years old. A message board post I did about the ethics of voting - suggesting perhaps that NOT voting is a good idea sometimes. This was while I was beginning to research Libertarianism but before I had solidified myself in that stance. This was in reply to some kind of article, I don't know what it was, but it probably touched on voting/not voting. Another post along the same veign follows.

The last time I made mention of my willingness to vote was to get my social studies teacher to feel satisfied with his instilment of a "good citizen" into me. There are plenty of reasons not to vote, and I know that article has missed them.

Before I get on to the better reasons I found not to vote, I must address one thing, and that's the "if you don't vote you can't complain" statement. That's ridiculous. If everyone had my voting habits, I'd never have to complain, and neither would you - because we'd all be in a better world. I have every right to complain about your choices, and I'm relatively certain that others complain about mine all the time. And I blame the next horrible president, be it Gore or Bush (like anyone else has a chance), on whoever votes for them. If that's not complaint worthy, I don't know what is.

That said, here, a better list of reasons to not vote than the ones in that article:

1. The Point of Voting: The principle of the "vote" is to best express your opinion, and when voting for a representative, to select a representative who represents you best. The point of a vote is not a horse race, you are not there to pick the one that will win, you are there to pick the one that best represents you. Truthfully, are you going to vote for that person, be they a 3rd party candidate that has no chance in hell of winning, or are you going to intentionally vote for Bush or Gore because they're the only ones who might win? Do you refuse to *ahem* waste your vote on anyone else?

I thought so! And if that's what you plan on doing, your very presence in the voting booth is a plague on the nature of our system, and it's people like you who water down what would possibly be a thoughtful election. In the name of all things decent, stay home, as it's your responsibility as a citizen to not make our country more worse than it is, and that's what you do when you tarnish our voting system like that.

2. Downright Stupid People: Did you take the time to listen to all the campaign fodder? Did you research on all the candidates, even 3rd party ones? No, hearing that one televised debate where Bush and Gore are talking about welfare doesn't count. If you didn't take the time to research the important issues of this election - taxes, government program funding, and taxes - then you're a idiot. Stupid people should not vote!

Admitting ignorance in politics isn't a condemnation on your overall intelligence, you can be very intelligent and make that admittance. You may be a great philosopher, a great scientist, a great educator and a great student - but knowing a lot about physics and being able to rationalize cosmological arguments doesn't make you anyone who's opinions matter on tax reform and education. So shut up, lest you add to voting pool even MORE ignorance - ignorance that there is already an abundance of.

It's the intelligent thing to do.

3. Counter Votes: Okay, so you want to vote to "counter" your idiot friend's vote? Good for you, but ask yourself - ?Is this helping the current problem of inadequate voting any?? If the answer to that question is "no", then stay home election night. Learn something worthwhile like I will be, study up on evolution, learn more about physics, continue your various hobbies and hone your talents, or, god forbid, talk your idiot friend out of voting so that the both of you do not contaminate what would otherwise be a thoughtful election year!!!

4. "No One Represents Me Best": If there is no one up for the election that represents you at all, who do you make the compromise for? If you can't answer that in a 10 page dissertation on why you should vote for the person you are (and that essay cannot include any of the reasons above, of course), then for all things humane and just in this world, do not vote!

IF ANY OF THE ABOVE REASONS APPLY, IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY AS AN AMERICAN CITIZEN TO NOT VOTE!

I admit that in this election year I spent more time learning about evolution, atheism, theism and general science than I did politics. I didn't hold my breath to see what kind of financial reforms where being presented. As far as I was concerned, this year it's a waste of my time - so long as I have the basic freedoms to explore my intellectual pursuits, I'm happy. Maybe I'm not asking for a lot, but so be it.

It might be different in the coming years, and I always make sure I keep consistent opinions on popular issues. But when it comes down to it, I hold that by my standards that I'm not fit to chose our next president, nor dominant representatives of state.

If I'm not fit for that, I know 95% of you definitely aren't. It disgusts me when soccer moms choose the most schmoozy president just as much as it does when gun nuts vote on the sake of whether or not he has to register his military issue bazooka. I know asking this is like shouting orders at the deaf, but I'd feel guilty not saying it- don't vote!

A Public Announcement From The "Don't Vote Because Phoebus Says So" Campaign

10/19/00 12:20 PM

Please keep in mind, these are good reasons NOT to vote... there are still plenty of good reasons TO vote. But, if we all can't hold absurdly high standards to the election and voting systems, not only of those systems but of ourselves, we're not exactly being responsible citizens. Definitely, such practices will help (that is, if people listened to ol' Phoebus).

MTV "Choose or Lose"? They're worse than the large sum of Americans that refuse to vote because "Why, no-body su-pports the free dis-tribution of mara-juana!". It's disturbing that people want to play "follow the leader" with their voting priviledges, and that the "leaders" right now are private interest organizations who want more lobbying pull. Or just, more media exposure. Or both.

?Yeah, Mr. McMahon, I'll "Smackdown" my vote, unless the Rock tells me different! 2 Cool Rulz!?

These people promote voting for the wrong reasons. The wrong reason usually being, voting just because you can.

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