Monday, November 5, 2012

When Not To Vote

It is frequently the case, as election day draws nigh, for political pundits to extol the virtues of voting.  Much is said about the sovereign franchise, and not having a right to complain if you won't vote.  Many words are spilled to try to get those who aren't interested in politics to be interested in politics.  Many say, "Vote as if your life depends upon it."

I'm not going to do that.  I'm going to say some unconventional things, here.  I'm going to encourage people not to vote.

If you haven't been paying attention for at least the last 3 months, don't vote.
If you think it is the government's job to "fix" things, don't vote.
If you couldn't be bothered to find out the candidates' positions on the issues important to you, don't vote.

People's lives are busy.  I understand that, and I appreciate it.  But voting is to exercise the sovereign franchise.  As Robert Heinlein described it, "it is force."  Your vote carries with it the promise of gunfire and bayonet charges.  To cast a vote which could, literally, get people killed without first considering the ramifications thereof is negligent in the extreme.

On the other hand, if you have been paying attention, vote.  If you think the government's job is not to fix things, but to enable others to fix them, vote.  If you understand the candidates' positions, vote.

Don't vote like your life depends upon it.  Vote like your children and grandchildren's lives depend upon it.

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