Bigsley the Oaf

Do Not Vote

Posted in Uncategorized by bigsleytheoaf on November 2, 2010

Every election year we’re bombarded with a million variants of the same message:

“God am I sick of all of this electioneering – but make sure you vote!”

Well I am taking a stance – the stance I have taken for 7 years now – that not only am I not going to vote, you shouldn’t either.

For one thing, it takes time. Let’s just get that out of the way right now. Even if all you’re doing is going to the polls and filling in random circles, that takes time. But let’s assume you’re conscientious and actually read up on everyone’s positions and back stories – suppose you read all the propositions and come to a reasonable mix of opinions, something you’re happy with. How many hours will all of that take you?

Now don’t worry, I’m not going to make a probabilistic argument. Said argument makes sense* but it’s not the reason you shouldn’t vote. I just wanted to get it out there that there are some more-or-less concrete, unequivocle downsides to voting.

But the real problem with voting is the submission of it. When you vote you are submitting. You are submitting to peer pressure. You are submitting to a culture that is mad with power – a culture that believes that the collective can somehow magically act better than the sum of its individuals – a culture dominated by anti-intellectuals and ingrates. You are submitting to a discourse which you did not pick – you did not pick the topics, you did not pick the candidates, but by submitting that vote you are validating choices which you have had no part in. Prop. 19 legalizes marijuana in California. Why aren’t we voting to legalize LSD? Well, because the discourse must creep forward. That’s the way of it. That’s the only way it can be.

The real problem with voting is that you are validating Their power. Do you believe in their right to power? These smiling shit-eaters who you’ve never and you will never meet?

The problem with voting is that it marginalizes the rational. Since the popular vote wins the popular vote must be simple and easy to understand. A complex problem requires either a complex or elegant solution, neither of which can win since the public cannot and will not understand them. Neither of which has won, historically. It’s a joke that marijuana isn’t legalized. The point is simple and straightforward. The fact that the public is overwhelmingly incapable of ingesting them is telling.

The problem with voting is that it is a tool of corruption and power. Any ideas why the GOP spent more than $2 billion on campaigns this year? Do you think they’re idiots? Do you think that they will not recoup this money tenfold once they’re elected? By voting, you are giving politicians just one more target for their manipulative electioneering.

The problem with voting is that it is an excuse for you, yes you, to put on the blinders and ignore what is going on around you. When you vote you submit to the role of voter and citizen. You have done your duty, now go back to work. Feel good about yourself! You voted!

It boils my blood when my otherwise liberal and somewhat free-minded friends go into idiot-zombie mode about this shit. With their “you should just vote!” or “what if nobody voted!?!” bullshit incoherent rhetoric. Fuck you! I wish no one voted. Then we could stop squabbling over power and fix some real fucking problems. If you believe that our government is corrupt – if you believe that politicians do not deserve the trust we give them, then why the fuck do you believe we should vote people into office? If we can’t find anyone who we can trust with power then how about we just elect -no one-.

The problem with voting is that it validates the myth that government can solve our problems. Problems come from all sectors, sectors that the government has no information about, no idea how to deal with. And the government has a really shitty track record of dealing with them. The idea that who we vote into office in California will turn this sorry state’s economy around is belief in a magic bullet – child’s stuff. It will not work. Concentrate on real problems.

The corollary to the last point is that it validates the idea that we CANNOT solve our problems. “Oh but the public roads.” No, fuck you! You think there’s absolutely no way to fix the public roads except by appointed some slimy smiling motherfucker to tell us how to do it?

If, instead of voting, everyone took 10 hours out of their week and did some work around their neighborhood – talked to neighbors, cleaned up their streets, planted a goddamn tree, fed a homeless person, whatever – imagine the difference we could make.

And here we have the black and twisted backbone of the Voter’s argument. Here is the Crux. The Voter is lazy. The Voter wants to sit back and watch the information go by and decide. The Voter wants to be a decider, not a doer. The Voter wants to change the world – but doesn’t want to get her hands dirty doing it. Push the button, go home, turn on the TV.

If you really believe in collective action SO much then why the fuck does your contribution to it consist of pushing a button?


* If EV = Sunk Time Cost + Value of Winning a Vote * Probability Your Vote Made a Difference then EV is pretty damn sure to be less than zero.


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