Welcome to Liberrants, a blog dedicated to editorials, discussions, and studies of all things libertarian. Don't let the title mislead you; it's merely my attempt to be creative in describing myself as a "hopeful curmudgeon" who embraces the goal of the free, peaceful, economically vibrant society envisioned by America's founding fathers. Jump in! Contribute! Enjoy!

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Location: Tucson, Arizona, United States

A critically thinking curmudgeon whose goal, in addition to creatively venting about the imperfect world in which we live, is to induce critical thinking in others. The ultimate goal is to help bring about a peaceful world in which we can all live in freedom.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Election Day in the Commonwealth: So What?

Today is the day that the compliant little lemmings who make up the citizenry of the Commonwealth of Virginia go to the polls to elect new guardians for the next four years. I’m going to pass. I can think of many better things to do with my time (like watching dust gather on the wall), but doing something as futile as voting isn’t even on the list, particularly considering the corrupt and inept buffoons populating this year’s ballot. Even the Libertarian candidate for delegate in my district, Chuck Eby, can’t get my blood excited. His platform is sufficiently compromised that he might as well be a Demopublican (amazing how this always seems to happen with [Big “L”]ibertarians come election time).

I won’t go into all the reasons why I’ve finally decided to quite voting, cold turkey. Others have done a much better job than I ever could of explaining the philosophy behind this attitude. Butler Shaffer, in particular, does a brilliant job of it here and here. Anthony Gregory, Brad Edmonds, and Wendy McElroy also weigh in with some insightful reasons to stay away from the polls.

I can hear the rejoinders right now, one of the most trite being:

“If you don’t vote, you have no right to complain about the government!”

Wrong! I have more right than anyone else to complain. By not voting, I have refused to sanction these statist thugs and their illegal, immoral and unconstitutional actions certain to follow once they’ve ensconced themselves in office. Therefore, I can say with absolute moral authority that these people do not “represent” me and that I do not, under any circumstances, recognize their authority over me. The aforementioned quote is often followed by:

“So just vote for the lesser of the two evils. You’ll be voting against [Scumbag Candidate X], not for [Scumbag Candidate Y].”

This has to be one of the most moronic things ever to issue forth from a human mouth. This is like saying that you prefer cancer over AIDS. What on earth does it matter whether my intent was to vote against one candidate by voting for his opponent? The simple fact of the matter is that my vote constitutes an endorsement for Scumbag Candidate Y, period. It doesn’t matter whether or not it’s a protest vote against Scumbag Candidate X. If Scumbag Candidate Y gets elected because of my vote, will I really be any better off? In all likelihood, Scumbag Y’s conduct in office will be just as reprehensible as would be Scumbag X’s, so it is difficult to fathom exactly what would have been gained. There is no better illustration of this than the election of George W. Bush over Al Gore in 2000. I defy anyone to tell me with a straight face that we are really better off with Dubya in the White House. If your answer is yes, then you are obviously in thrall of the State and all of its degeneracy (and don’t even start with the “If Gore had been President on 9/11. . .” crap).

And finally, although I can’t locate the original article, Charley Reese made the following statement a couple of years ago:

“The voting booth is not a place to make a statement.”

You’re right, Charley, it’s not, the fact notwithstanding that everyone who votes is making a statement of choice. I know you didn’t mean this statement in the context of which I’m thinking, but since you mention it, I agree. The voting booth is a pretty useless tool with which to express one’s political opinion. It’s like trying to cook dinner with a vacuum cleaner; it’s the wrong tool for the task. Rather than use a tool that is so obviously rigged in favor of the State, just stay home. Write. Publish. Email. Evangelize liberty to friends, coworkers, and associates. Treat your fellow citizens and their property with respect, and demand that they do the same to you. These simple actions will do far more to make a statement than going into a voting booth every two to four years to give legal sanction to thieving bullies.

So for those of you Virginians (or denizens of any other state holding a FoolsFest today) who have nothing better to do with your time, go cast your vote. Let’s meet again in four years and see what has changed for the better. I’m laying a paycheck on “nothing of substance.” Care to wager?