the irresponsibility of voting


the irresponsibility of voting

i was listening to my favorite talk radio show the other day and a caller, new to the freedom movement i’d guess, went on about how the only way to achieve freedom is to exercise the right to vote. “we’ve got to replace the bad folks with the good ones”, she said. “we’ve got to let them know that if they don’t follow the constitution, that they won’t get another term”. it may or may not be obvious to you that there are some major flaws in that logic, but there’s one i never hear people talking about that i’d like to focus on.

one thing i think we’ve all seen, no matter what your political persuasion might be, is that politicians, by and large, rarely come through on the promises they’ve made before the election. another way to put it is that politicians are mostly (to what extent this is true, we can’t really know. we can only know that it’s VERY prevalent) liars.

given that we’re all aware of this time-tested phenomenon, how can a person ever have enough information to vote for a candidate? considering that you’re actively throwing your support behind a candidate when you vote; helping them to gain power, isn’t voting supremely irresponsible since you really have no idea what the candidate in question is planning to do with ultimate and unaccountable power?

what if, hypothetically, of course, a candidate were to campaign on a humble and restrained foreign policy, only to be elected and invade two or three countries causing hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties? in that case, those who voted for bush him acted with the highest level of irresponsibility by helping a man to gain power, even though they had no idea what he would do with it if he got it. voting is giving a person, who is most likely a liar, a blank check of support no matter what he does while in office. it’s saying, “i don’t have a clue what you’re planning to do with your power, since you are probably lying, but i’m behind it, even if it’s aggressive war, genocide, domestic oppression, religious persecution or anything else.

what kind of person could go out and give that kind of support? certainly not one who has any regard for responsibility. most likely, if you’re reading this, you’ve voted. well, you can’t change the past, but you can change your behavior in the future. all i’m asking is that you be certain of what you’re supporting with your vote, or don’t vote. since you can never be certain of anything when it comes to candidates, never vote.

it isn’t as if a candidate is, during a campaign, going to say that he likes coke best, but then drink pepsi after being elected. that doesn’t matter. we’re talking about candidates who might kill innocent peoplemany innocent people. think about people in other countries voting for politicians who might end up killing you or your family members. wouldn’t you want them to act responsibly? since you can’t trust politicians, isn’t it impossible to vote responsibly, especially when there’s the option not to vote at all?

Conceptual logician, libertarian philosopher, musician, economist, almost-ran businessman and other stuff.
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