Election season is that special time that comes to us living in American every two years (although the really “important” elections are only every four years). During this time we’re given the choice between evil of one variety and evil of another variety and asked to choose which type of evil we want to rule over us for four years. With election season comes debates regarding the process of voting, a debate that’s going down at Tam’s blog and Linoge’s.
The debate has three sides; those who believe you should vote for the “lesser” or two evils, those who believe you should vote you conscious, and those who don’t believe in the voting process. I’ve written about my opinion regarding the voting process and I fall squarely in the third camp. I don’t believe voting can change a damn thing, the system is rigged too well to ensure the current political power maintains its, well, power. Every challenge to the establishment has been crushed and with each victory won by those in power they’ve learned how to keep people’s input from ruining their chances of ruling the American people. They’re specialists, they spend a large majority of their time scheming, plotting, and planning new ways to fuck over the grassroots movements, the political dissidents, and the radicals. Voting is their system, they know and understand it, they control it, and we can’t win by playing by their rules.
But this post isn’t about the futility of voting, it’s about the debate raging between the first two sides; those who believe you should vote for the “lesser” or two evils and those who believe you should vote your conscious. While I hold no regard for the voting process I also have no desire to prevent those who wish to participate in the voting process from doing so. If you believe the system can be changed at the ballot box then certainly vote; I do believe in a diversity of tactics after all. What I will ask of those who wish to use the ballot box is this: don’t be part of the problem, be part of the solution.
What I mean by this is don’t be in the camp that votes for the “lesser” of two evils. Do you know what I refer to the camp that votes for the “lesser” of two evils as? A bunch of socialists. Let’s assume that Romney gets the nomination and this year’s presidential election winds up being a battle between Obama and Obama, err, Romney. Looking at the situation we have two candidates whose only differentiating feature their skin color. Politically Romney and Obama hold nearly the same beliefs, they both love big government and spit on individual liberty whenever the chance presents itself.
The “lesser” of two evils camp will claim numerous reasons why you should vote for Romney instead of Obama. These reasons range from the danger of Obama being allowed to pick new Supreme Court justices to the economic devastation wrought by Obama’s policies. What these individuals have failed to state is how Romney will be any different. Who would Romney appoint to the Supreme Court? What economic policies would Romney implement? Nobody in the “lesser” of two evils camp ever provides solid answers to such questions. They often say that Romney is a socialist but not as much of a socialist as Obama. What does that get us? A socialist judge nominated to the Supreme Court, perhaps not as socialist of a judge, but a socialist judge nonetheless. Romney’s knowledge on economics is almost zero, a fact made apparent by his statements that the president is in any position to fix the economy. The only fix to the economy is through an entirely free market and that necessarily requires a complete abolition of government involvement, something Romney doesn’t support.
At least those voting their conscious have a leg to stand on because they’re trying to be part of the solution. If people would abandon the idea of supporting the “lesser” or two evils and began voting on their principles we’d likely have a far better situation than that currently faced. Gary Johnson isn’t likely to fix everything, he’s not even likely to fix some things, but he’s likely to cause little damage.
What this entire argument boils down to is the following: those voting for the “lesser” or two evils will accomplish nothing while those who vote their conscious will likely solve nothing but at least stand a chance. Putting Cthulhu into office will only result in evil being brought against the people of this country. No matter how you shake it voting for the “lesser” of two evils accomplishes nothing. At most, at the very most, it staves off total economic collapse by a few minutes, but the faster we get the collapse over with the fast we can recover. The longer we allow the government to work the longer the pain of recovery will last as demonstrated by the Great Depression. Therefore voting for the “greater” of two evils will serve us better in the long wrong as it’ll get the pain over with more quickly.
Those voting for the “lesser” of two evils are part of the problem, they’re prolonging the pain. A vote for a third party may very well be a vote thrown away but it’s not helping perpetuate the problem and, therefore, is far better than a vote cast for the “lesser” evil.
Another way to look at things is that we’re probably better off, in the long run, with a completely authoritarian president who can get this police state ramped up to 11 because the faster the average individual is inconvenienced the faster they’ll get pissed off and work on changing things instead of just bitching about them. Really, in the grand scheme of things, those voting for the “lesser” or two evils are the biggest problem causes of them all. Those who vote for the “greater” or two evils are getting us to collapse and recovery faster, those who vote their conscious are attempting to get people into office that have a chance of rolling this country back before the collapse happens, and those of us who have given up on the idea of voting are a null sum in the equation.
If you’re going to scream at me and claim I’m part of the problem because I won’t vote for the “lesser” evil all I can say is kindly bugger off. As much as you’re convinced that I’m part of the problem I’m convinced that you’re part of the problem. You think I’m a terrible person because I won’t play your game and I think you’re an equally terrible person because you’re playing the game. Bitch and moan about Obama all you want but Romney isn’t one iota better. Your belief that Romney is the “lesser” evil is delusional. The only way one could possible come to such a conclusion in my opinion is if they lied to themselves so much that they started believing their lies, in other words they are practicing cognitive dissonance. I don’t believe there is any way to stave off the collapse and the longer we prolong our agony the more severe the recover will be.
To those of you voting for the “lesser” of two evils, your doing nothing more than prolonging agony so don’t claim any moral high ground over me. Shove off. Go tell yourself bedtime stories about how great you are and use me as the villan, frankly I don’t give a damn. Your plan sucks, it’s the worst of the worst, and you will get no support from me. Unlike you, those voting their conscious are at least trying to fix things, they’re doing something different because they have the ability to use reason and through that ability have realized the current plan, your plan of voting for the “lesser” evil, hasn’t accomplished anything. What did voting for Bush accomplish? Further economic failure, bailouts, a more prominent police state, and war. What will Romney give us over Obama? Nothing but more of the same; more economic failures, more bailouts, a more prominent police state, and more wars. If that’s your idea of better then I will have no part in your scheme. Like children you ignore what you don’t like and simply scream “NOT UH!” whenever somebody points out the failure of your plan. Go play in your sandbox and let us adults get to work.
2 thoughts on “The Classic Voting Debate”
I decided after 2006 never to vote lesser of 2 evils again. Previously in my 20s I did vote lesser of 2 evils. That being said I think the principled non-voter stance is retarded too. The reason being in my mind if you don’t show up it is not treated as a principled move it is treated as you don’t care and you are ignored. So my voting strategy of late has been a 2 pronged approach. I vote in the Republican primary for any liberty leaning candidates. Then when those people lose I vote Libertarian in the General. The first part is basically telling the Republican Party that there is a vote for this style candidate (Ron Paul, Debra Medina for Governor in the last cycle in Texas). If there isn’t a liberty candidate in a race on the primary in a category I don’t vote that category. I don’t think voting libertarian in the general is going to accomplish much. But what it effectively is, is a none of the above vote. In Texas libertarians run in every race (they are pretty organized here) and they get enough votes to retain their ballot access. So by voting L I can help preserve their ballot access and be added to the count that says none of the above. If you don’t vote they will just say you are lazy and you don’t care.
We’ve all made that mistake. I did it once for a local election and the filthy feeling I had afterward refused to wash off. Thankfully I make mistakes once and learn from them after that.
I’m used to my position being seen as something it’s not. People don’t see my absence at the polling place as a principled stance and they don’t see capitalism as anything but the cronyism they witness in the United States. When I say I believe in capitalism I’m usually treated as some kind of monster who wishes all poor people to starve to death. Frankly I’m at the point where the opinions of others are of little interest to me.
With that said I do support a diversity in tactics and therefore hold nothing against those who do vote (unless they’re voting for the “lesser” of two evils). I desire to focus my energies on strategies that I feel will be more beneficial in the long run but who those strategies are depends on who is viewing them. To me voting doesn’t appear to be worth the hassle but to others it does.
You have a better situation than we do here in Minnesota. The only libertarian to regularly appear on our ballots is their presidential candidate. I would probably feel a bit more hopeful if we actually had a strong libertarian influence here in Minnesota (but most of us are focused on other strategies such as jury nullification and agorism). Minnesota is just too socialist to combat our ideological opposition at the ballot box.
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