A relative in Singapore called and said “Happy Election Day.” Somewhat in jest. I have relatives and friends begging me to vote this time–Republican of course–”to kick those Marxists out of office.” Yes, to replace them with the Republicans, who a few years ago started two wars, added Medicare Prescription socialism, and began the Bankster Bailouts. Yeah.
Last year I took my 6-year old with me to the polls and let him watch me cast a blank ballot. But a friend on Facebook recently admonished me:
Any participation in the voting process, even casting a blank ballot in protest, is acknowledging, perpetuating, and giving legitimacy to the state and its system.
Withdraw from the state. Don’t vote at all. Embrace agorism. Spread freedom like a virus.
And of course the anti-voting position is common among many anarchist libertarians.1 I’m still not completely convinced that it’s immoral or unlibertarian to vote–especially just casting a blank ballot–but I’m leaning in that direction; and I certainly think there is no duty to vote. One libertarian I know thinks that while it’s problematic to vote for a candidate for a given office, it’s less problematic to vote on a ballot measure or law itself (like legalizing drugs or lowering taxes). Not sure, but I don’t think I’m going to vote today.
I’m hearing reports that nearly $1 billion has already been spent on US House elections alone. Sheila Krumholz of the Center for Responsive Politics predicts “$3.7 billion will be spent on this midterm election.” That’s 30% more than last time. It’s no surprise that the more legal plunder government is able to redistribute, the more people are willing to spend to gain control of the state. Obama is making Bush the Younger look thrifty and the next president will likely do the same for him. The increase in electoral spending will continue apace.
Such a distraction and waste of money political elections, especially national elections, are. As I explained in Voting, Moral Hazard, and Like Buttons: “The very existence of [a] centralized voting system for deciding public matters of moral importance encourages citizens to focus their energies on this formal democratic process, which is to say that it encourages the wasting of time and money on vote getting (or buying), at the expense of getting anything actually productive done in a timely fashion.”
The total destruction of the Democrats has arrived with Obama. Obama, that great “progressive” has turned out to be quite like his hated predecessor. Indeed, the Obama administration is appealing a recent gay marriage ruling preventing federal government ban on same-sex marriage. Between that, wars, Guantánamo, spying, severe weakening of habeas corpus, new presidential powers, threats of censoring the internet, endless banking and health care corporatism and support of the drug war, the modern Democrat has lost. By now they must either be ignorant of what is going or do not care, or think that Obama is “really trying”. Pu-leez. Vote and cover your ears. Oh hey–this is what Republicans do as well!
The problem, of course, goes beyond the president. Decades of entrenched socialism and fascism (perhaps “corporatism” is a better term), not to mention warmongering, has become the status quo. It is the state that is to blame. And there is only so much a single person can do (no offense “hope” and “change”), which today is very little given the size and complexity of the federal government.
So with that, I just wanted to ask, in a loud and ridiculing tone, “Now WHO looks ridiculous for not voting?” LOL@U, Obama voter.
(Don’t worry. I will mock Republicans soon enough. As it is always with American politics, the worst is yet to come.)