I’ve given up voting. The last presidential election, in which I wrote in Vermin Supreme, was the last election that I plan to vote in. When I say this I’m often met with criticisms from people who believe voting is the way to change things politically. That may be true if your idea of change is to replace a Democratic ruler with a Republican ruler of vice versa but that’s not the type of change I’m trying to accomplish. I came across an essay by one of my leftist anarchist brethren that does a good job of summarizing why I’m done with voting:
To vote is to give up your own power.
To elect a master or many, for a long or short time, is to resign one’s liberty.
Call it an absolute monarch, a constitutional king, or a simple M.P., the candidate that you raise to the throne, to the seat, or to the easy chair, he will always be your master. They are persons that you put “above” the law, since they have the power of making the laws, and because it is their mission to see that they are obeyed.
My goal, politically speaking, is to abolish masters. It’s not a matter of a neoliberal or a neoconservative ruling my life. I’m more than capable of ruling myself thank you very much. The only thing that I ask is that nobody initiate aggression against me and in return I won’t initiate aggression against anybody. We don’t need rulers to dictate this request, common sense and community outcry will do so. There doesn’t need to be men in marble buildings writing decrees against murder because targets of a murderer will defend themselves and members of the target’s family and community will rise to his defense. The same is true of theft, rape, and other acts that involve one individual aggressing against another. Rulers only need exist to write decrees prohibiting behavior that a community won’t itself enforce. In other words rulers only exist to write decrees that a community doesn’t actually want.
Truth be told I don’t care if you choose to vote. That’s your choice. But I’m not going to vote and I don’t give a damn if you think that makes me a bad person.